Nobody wants you ambulance transport. Especially since, contrary to some beliefs, it is not free. Without exception.
In Quebec, ambulance transport is not covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie (RAMQ). You therefore cannot pay with your sun card.
As a result, expect to shoulder a bill of at least $ 125, to which is added $ 1.75 for every mile the ambulance travels.
And if your spouse or friend is accompanying you, you will have to pay an additional $ 35 (unless that person is a medical attendant or social worker). There is no exception, even if you are 65 or older.
Do you have to pay immediately?
Hopefully not. The ambulance service in your area will send you an invoice later. You have up to 28 days to pay, from the date shown on the invoice. Any delay incurs interest charges.
You can normally pay by debit, wire transfer, check, credit card and even cash, if you go to the head office (inquire before you go).
Some ambulance transport is free, in certain situations:
- You are the victim of a traffic accident.
- You have suffered a criminal act.
- You have performed an act of good citizenship.
- You move between two healthcare establishments.
- You are receiving social assistance (under certain conditions).
- You are a member of the Canadian Forces, an eligible veteran, a member of the First Nations living on a reserve, an inmate.
- You are over 65 years old and the doctor at your health center can justify that your medical condition requires emergency transport, even if you are leaving your home.
Sometimes people get an invoice when they don’t have to pay. You can then contact the complaints commissioner of the health center where you were treated: he has 45 days to react. Otherwise, you can contact the Québec Ombudsman (1-800-463-5070 • https://protecteurducitoyen.qc.ca/fr/porter-plainte/comment-porter-plainte). This organization confirms that it receives several complaints each year on this subject, without being able to determine the number.
More than 685,000 ambulance transports are carried out each year in Quebec. A few years ago, the average bill in urban areas was between $ 140 and $ 200.