Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Costly ambulance ride

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2016 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In August 2015, I vacationed at the Luxury BahÌa PrincÌpe in Runaway Bay. Unfortunately, I had to be taken to the MoBay Hope Medical Center in Montego Bay by ambulance, which the hotel's nurse called Life Call Ambulance.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the ambulance was paid US$800. However, when I returned home, I received a bill for US$2,837.50 less the US$800. After checking my medical claims online, I found out that Omega Medical Services (not sure why they are billing under two different names) billed my medical insurance company $2,837.50 and a cheque was sent for US$579.60.

I submitted a claim to my insurance company for the US$800 that I had paid in Jamaica. The insurance company paid US$480 to Life Call Ambulance. This payment is not reflected on the last invoice I received from Life Call Ambulance. To date, Life Call Ambulance has received a total of $1,859.60 and is still sending me bills to pay the balance.

I am not sure how these companies are related (Life Call Ambulance, Omega Medical Services).

- Life Call billed $2,837.50.

- Omega billed $2,837.50.

Payments made: $579.80

$480

$800

Total paid in US dollars: $1,859.80

I recently called (876)XXX-1283, Life Call Ambulance's number, and asked for a quotation for ambulance service from Ocho Rios to MoBay Hope Medical Center. I was given a price of J$47,500, or about US$395.83, using today's conversion rate. This is a longer ride from where I stayed and it is less money.

I believed that my initial payment of US$800 is more than a fair price for the service provided. I am requesting a full refund based on the quote given over the telephone. I'm appalled at the treatment I received in a time of need and in my own country.

CHARMAINE MARTIN

cmartin@marketcommunications.net