Watch Your Wallet: The Paramedic Sneak

Update: It’s that time of the year again. Don’t forget to deduct the optional $42.00 “crash tax” from your Fullerton utility bill this month.

Don’t forget, this is the month in when an optional Paramedic Fee is automatically added on to your Fullerton water bill. Look closely and you’ll see that the city squeezing the optional charge into the total amount due, which seems a little sneaky. Subtract $42.00 from your total before you make your payment to opt out of the program.

According to the city website, paramedic visit charges range from $250 to $500 and are sometimes covered by your health insurance. Unless you fall down a lot, specific risk coverage for relatively minor expenses such as these are usually not a good investment.

27 Replies to “Watch Your Wallet: The Paramedic Sneak”

  1. This is exactly why you never let a government agency make auto-withdrawals from your bank account.

  2. Those firefighters need something to do, since there aren’t any fires anymore. We could contract out the whole paramedic service, then cross-train the police to fight the rare fires we do have–big savings there.

    Or–politically easier–join the OC Fire Authority

  3. once is shame on me, twice is shame on you. I have been burned once and paid the paramedic fee believing it was what i owed to the city of fullerton.
    Fullerton’s government shows a pattern of lying to the public. fullerton’s traffic cameras were rigged to show innocent people running a red light so to ticket them for money, the paramedic fees and from this blog site the millions of tax dollars pumped into its redevelopment agency.
    those who have served the longest on Fullerton’s city council must be voted out.

  4. I’ve always thought the Trash Fee is a scam. And Fullerton isn’t the only city to do this.

    As far as I know, it’s not optional. So if you’re gone and generate NO TRASH for 6 months, you still have to pay as if you did. What next, a flat fee for water at $100 per month, whether you use any or not?

    1. Hay compton, if Prop 13 should go down and my property taxes go up, will you pay them for me then? I am on a fixed income and if my property taxes go up I will have no where to live. I have lived in my house since 1970. You are probably one of those idiots who keep moving all the time.

  5. Fountain Valley’s tried a “membership” system for a few hundred/year. Kind of a fan club. So if one neighbor joins and another doesn’t, they don’t have to make a decision on who’s house to go to first, I suppose, when the block catches fire.

    1. Yes thank you so much. how did we ever survive without FFFFFFFFFFFFFF. Of course Chrissy-poo is the one who stuck his nose up Admin and Kiger’s asses. What a knucklehead but it’s sweet that you and your BFF’s are getting along…….so cute

  6. Quite a few people don’t have health insurance. Of course, many of those same people might not have $ 42.00.

    Do we know how many people were charged for paramedic visits last year?

  7. This isn’t the ‘crash tax’ — most cities in OC have been treating their paramedic services as a profit (?) center for at least the past few years. Rather, paramedic fees were the ‘nose under the tent’ that convinced these municipalities that they could get away with expanding these charges to general police and fire responses. Look for a “police fee” and a “fire fee” to be coming as separate line items to a utility bill near you, I’m sure.

    And in my experience, you can replace “are sometimes covered by your health insurance” with “are absolutely never covered by your health insurance, unless you’re willing to waste an incredible amount of time and have a supportive person inside your company’s HR department”. Insurance companies know these fees for the scam they are, and aren’t eager to pay up. In 2005, I received a bill for $300 for a paramedic call to my home in Anaheim. My insurer offered to pay $25.50, supposedly the ‘prevailing rate’ for a paramedic response in my area — even though paramedic charges in neighboring cities ranged from $82.50 to over $700. I can’t imagine that charges have gone down or that insurance companies have become more willing since that time.

    1. Yes, this is Fullerton’s crash tax. Imagine getting hit by a drunk driver, being scooped up and whisked off to the E.R. by private ambulance and then getting dinged with a $250 bill from the city even though the paramedics did nothing but stand around while CARE took care of you.

      Oh, and then they try to make you pay portions of it every year by sneaking it onto your water bill.

      1. It doesn’t work like that, Travis.

        If you’re hit by a drunk driver and seriously injured, that’s a $500 ALS call Although you’re transported in a private CARE ambulance, there will be two paramedics riding along from the attending Fire Department. The “patient man” tends to the patient, administers drugs, takes vitals and the “radio man” communicates with the receiving hospital while the ambulance is en route. The radio man provides a nurse at the hospital with all the pertinent info before the patient arrives at the ER, giving them a heads up what to expect. If the patient takes a turn for the worse while en route, the radio man can ask for instructions from the ER nurse. Very commonly the ER nurse authorizes various drugs to administer while being transported, and only a paramedic can do this. The EMT’s working for the private ambulance company cannot, and for good reason.

        1. I was referring to an BLS call, where as far as I can tell, the city sends the accident victim a $250 bill for showing up and signing a report.

          1. This might help:

            What bothers me about Fullerton’s cost structure are the nice round figures for ALS/BLS – $250 and $500 – without regard to seriousness of the call, or the resources used by the fire department.

            Imagine if your water bill was structured the same way. That wouldn’t fly.

        2. If I am a resident in a home that pays the fee but I get hurt at a friend’s house in Fullerton , am I still covered?? Really need to know.

  8. How bout passin some blame to Howard Jarvis for destroying local government revenue. I know you all support Prop 13 with an undying loyalty that only a Muslim jihadist would understand, but seriously that’s where a lot of these local government funding issues and in affect these outrageous charges are coming from. Yes, Yes I can already see it “those damn public employee pensions” which I agree, need to be dealt with, but it wouldnt come close to solving the state or municipal structural deficit.

  9. The legal language – or lack thereof – behind Fullerton’s paramedic services is no good.

    1. The application form says the $42 subscription fee “covers you and all members of your household for paramedic services”. The website FAQ says “…Only permanent residents of the household are covered.” So which is it? And how is it defined?

    Either way, the application form DOES NOT ask for everybody’s names.

    2. Should you decline the insurance fee, ALS calls are $500 and BLS calls are $250. The initial response depends on what the caller is telling the 911 dispatcher, who refers to a flow chart to determine response level.

    What happens if the 911 dispatcher errs on the side of caution and dispatches an ALS engine for what is really a BLS situation? Do you pay $250 or $500?

    3. What happens if a BLS engine arrives on scene and upgrades the call to ALS requiring an ALS engine to respond. I sure hope the charge is $500 and not $750.

    4. The $250/$500 paramedic fees – are those fees the same for anybody, or just “permanent residents” or “household members” of Fullerton?

    Anybody know the answers?

  10. One more thing.

    Fullerton businesses can buy paramedic insurance for the same price, $42, but that’s for every 10 EMPLOYEES. Fullerton averages 2.83 people per household (2000 census).

    Businesses = $42 for every 10 employees
    Residences = $42 for every 2.83 residents per household

    In the rare likelihood that a visiting relative or friend becomes sick at my home, they are not covered under the $42 plan. That’s bullshit in my opinion.

  11. If you got a bad ticker pay the money. If you are on hospice pay the money. If you have had a heart transplant pay the money. If you owe money to the mob pay the money. If you you are a baggage handler at the Bagdad Airport pay the money. If you like buying whores while on big game hunts in Africa pay the money. If you like to blow monkeys in the Congo pay the money. If you like to speed ball shit off the bathroom floor of the Continental Room pay the money. If you live a risky lifestyle like Tony Bushala pay the money.

  12. So.. If I don’t pay this, and something happens.. Travis will pick up the tab. Is that ok with you Travis, you’ll take care of the bull shit for me?

  13. I wish my water bill was that low. Fucking hydroponics to grow my weed has really increased my bill. Luckily for the people in my neighborhood, I quit making meth so that threat of my house blowing up along with the block has diminished and they won’t need an ambulance ride. That’s bullshit to include that fee. Tony, not only do you give us helpful hints, you’re my best customer. Thanks dude, not let’s all get fucked up.

    1. Anon, Is your stuff any good? I have my medical marijuana card and I’m looking for a surrogate grower nearby. All legal of course

  14. Hey Green Tiger. That shit sucks. That’s why I grow my own. Besides, I sprinkle my shit with magic dust. I give away one bag of doritos to every new customer.

  15. WOW….that’s funny. Never seen charges for EMS on a water bill. What happens if you don’t pay the bill, you don’t have insurance and you are seriously injured? I’ll tell you what happens…your gonna get emergency medical services regardless of your ability to pay because it’s the law.

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