City officials announced today that changes could be coming to the city’s ambulance service subscription program. In 1978 the city created a subscription program for eligible citizens to offset the costs of operating a free ambulance service. During the early years of the service, the ambulance would not only transport a patient to the nearest hospital but would also provide transportation back to Coweta once they were released from the hospital. In October of 2001, due to the increasing costs of providing ambulance service, the city made changes to the subscription plan. Those changes included making it a supplemental insurance program, rather than a free program. Under the supplemental insurance program, in exchange for the monthly subscription, a subscriber’s liability for the cost of receiving ambulance services was limited to what the subscriber’s insurance carrier would pay. The city’s supplemental subscription service is similar to programs offered in other cities in the Tulsa metropolitan area.
The city council will be considering new actions in the coming months to help clarify who is eligible to participate in the program and what costs are covered. Because postal, school district and rural fire district boundaries do not follow municipal, or city limit, boundaries, there has been some confusion among residents about who is eligible to participate in the program. Additionally, city officials have received citizen questions about what costs are covered by the program. Currently, the subscription service provides coverage that is supplemental to the subscriber’s health insurance benefits for the cost of services provided by Coweta EMS. Patients receiving treatment by Coweta EMS that are not subscribers or who currently don’t have health insurance are responsible for the cost of the treatment received. City Manager Roger Kolman said, “The city is able to work with our citizens who receive services from Coweta EMS, but find themselves to be currently without health insurance coverage.”
- The ambulance subscription service was created in 1978 to offset the costs of operating the gratuitous (free) ambulance service offered to residents of the city. Participation in the program for city residents was compulsory.
- Over the next 20 years, several minor changes were made to the program, but the basic premise remained the same.
- In October of 2001, the city adopted ordinance 560 which changed the program from a gratuitous service to an insurance supplement program. In exchange for the monthly subscription fee, the city would accept as payment in full for ambulance services the amount reimbursed by the patient’s insurance.