‘Don’t reflexively call an ambulance,’ a Harvard researcher says. In many cases, a cheaper way makes sense.
An ambulance ride of just a few miles can cost thousands of dollars, and a lot of it may not be covered by insurance. With ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft far cheaper and now available within minutes in many areas, would using one instead be a good idea?
Perhaps surprisingly, the answer in many cases is yes.
The high cost of an ambulance isn’t really for the ride. It comes with emergency medical staff and equipment, and those can be very important, of course, even lifesaving.
But they are not things you always need, although you (and your insurer) pay for them with every trip.
“Don’t reflexively call an ambulance,” said Anupam Jena, a physician and researcher with the Harvard Medical School. “Ambulances are for emergencies. If you’re not having one, it’s reasonable to consider another form of transportation.”