Membership Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EmergyCare ambulance membership program?
The membership program gives individuals and families an opportunity to join EmergyCare, on an annual basis. If EmergyCare emergency services are used, we bill the patient’s insurance company, and accept as “payment in full”, whatever the insurance company pays.

Why should I become a member?
A membership saves you money, and provides protection and peace of mind for you and your family. A membership can mean hundreds of dollars in savings, if emergency ambulance service is medically necessary. 

What benefit do I receive as a member?
As a member you will not have any out of pocket expense if you are cared for and transported in a medically necessary emergency by an EmergyCare ambulance. You will receive unlimited ground EmergyCare ambulance service. If you are in an area that is primarily served by a volunteer fire department, your membership does not cover transport by these ambulances.

Membership also includes non-emergency ambulance transports if they are medically necessary and a reimbursed service as defined by your insurance provider and/or the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Who may purchase a membership?
Anyone can purchase a membership. However, it is most valuable to individuals who live and/or work in the City of Erie, Millcreek Township, any part of Erie County, Warren, Titusville, Corry or Kane.

How long is my membership good for?
You may purchase a membership at any time and it will be valid for one year from date of receipt.

How are the membership dollars used?
Membership funds are especially important to our organization as these dollars are used to purchase life saving medical equipment, technology and vehicles needed to carry out our mission.

When does my membership become effective?
Memberships become effective as soon as we receive the completed application and annual membership fee.

Do I have to show my membership card to receive services?
No, EmergyCare provides service to everyone equally, whether you are a member or not.

Do the membership benefits include Life Star helicopter service?
No, helicopter service is not included in the membership.

We want to purchase a membership, but will be moving out of town during the year.  Is part of our membership refundable?
No, memberships are not pro-rated, they are non-transferable and non-refundable.

We live in Florida during the winter.  Does our membership cover us while we are in Florida?
No, unfortunately, we do not have agreements with other ambulance services in other states.

The volunteer fire department in my community has an ambulance. Why do I need an EmergyCare membership?
Sadly, volunteerism across Pennsylvania is declining. Right here in Erie County, many volunteer fire departments are struggling with a shortage of volunteers. EmergyCare now staffs two additional ambulances (stationed in Harborcreek and Greene Township) to supplement the volunteer departments on weekdays, a time when very few volunteers are available to respond to emergencies. Should one of these EmergyCare ambulances transport you in an emergency, your membership prevents you from having any out of pocket expense.

Please remember, emergencies don't just happen at home.  If you frequently travel into the City of Erie, Millcreek, Corry, Titusville, Warren, or Kane for work, to visit friends and relatives or simply to enjoy some recreation, rest assured that should an emergency arise, your EmergyCare membership has you covered!

I live in an area served by a volunteer fire department. Will my EmergyCare membership cover me if I’m transported?
Your EmergyCare membership covers you only when you are treated and transported by an EmergyCare or Corry Ambulance (you are also covered, in an emergency, when transported by West County Paramedic Association, Central Erie County Paramedic Association, Community Ambulance Service (Franklin).  If a volunteer fire department ambulance transports you, your EmergyCare membership does not cover their charges.

I live in Millcreek Township and received another membership application in the mail. Why should I choose EmergyCare?

EmergyCare is the region's most experienced provider of emergency medical services.  When the health and safety of a loved one is on the line, you deserve the skills and experience EmergyCare delivers.  In addition to the highest level of care, your EmergyCare membership also provides the largest coverage area of any ambulance provider in the region.  You will be covered not only in Millcreek Township but the City of Erie, Corry area, Warren County, much of Crawford County, Kane and beyond.  In all, parts of seven counties are covered by EmergyCare.  Only EmergyCare gives you so much value for your membership dollar.

Why is there a seven-digit number, 870-1000, to dial in Millcreek?
Because you want the best care and service, you have a choice in doctors and hospitals. Likewise, we believe Millcreek Township residents deserve to have a choice in the ambulance service they would like to respond to their emergency. Unfortunately Township supervisors have decided that when a Millcreek resident dials 911, they are not permitted to request EmergyCare. In order to serve our more than 2,000 members in Millcreek who wished to continue using EmergyCare, we instituted the 870-1000 option. Anyone in Millcreek can dial 870-1000 in a medical emergency to have an EmergyCare ambulance respond.  Stickers with the phone number are available to anyone who requests them.  Also you can install the Call EmergyCare app on your Android device or iPhone.  This app provides a direct line to our 870-1000 number and emails your gps coordinates directly to our Communications Center for fast and accurate dispatch of an ambulance.

What is the difference between an EMT and paramedic?
Emergency medical technicians (EMT) are basic level care providers whereas paramedics are advanced care providers. What this means is, EMTs are trained in providing important treatments including: bandaging wounds, splinting broken bones and performing CPR. EMT training is 156 hours in length. Once this level of training is completed, an EMT can then go on to become a paramedic, an advanced level care provider. After an average of two years of additional training paramedics are able to deliver more advanced treatments such as: starting IVs, administering medications and evaluating cardiac activity. Serious injuries and illnesses require this advanced level of care.

Won’t my insurance pay my ambulance bill? 
Most insurance plans do not cover the entire cost of an ambulance transport. If you are a member, no matter how much or how little your insurance pays, the insurance payment will be accepted as payment in full.  However, non-members are responsible for the costs not covered by their insurance. 

Why do I have to give EmergyCare my insurance information and signature authorization if I receive service?
Your insurance information and signature authorization is needed for us to bill your insurance.  We must be able to bill your insurance in order to receive reimbursement for our services when they are rendered.  This helps cover our expenses.  If we did not bill your insurance when service is rendered, the membership fee would have to be significantly higher.

Why is Medicare sending me a bill if I am a member?
What you receive from Medicare is an Explanation Of Benefits (EOB), not a bill.  Medicare automatically sends this.  If you are a member, you are not responsible for the unpaid amount shown on this form for emergency calls.

I haven’t gotten a membership card in the mail.
No need to worry, you never need a card to show proof of membership.  We have all your membership information stored electronically.  We do mail membership cards as many people like the security of having one and use the phone numbers on the back for reference.  However, you will never need this card as proof of membership or to utilize our services.  Please note that your membership is effective the day we receive your payment, however, it may take 3-4 weeks to receive your membership card in the mail.

I’m on public assistance.  Do I need to buy a membership?
No, memberships are not solicited from Medicaid recipients.  Since these patients will not have any out of pocket expense, there is no value in a membership for them.  
Is my membership fee tax deductible?
No, the regular membership fee is not tax deductible.

As a non-profit charitable organization, EmergyCare accepts tax-deductible donations.  When a charitable contribution is sent in with the membership fee, the difference between the membership fee and the contribution is tax deductible as a charitable gift.  Should you choose to support our mission with a donation, we will send you a thank you letter that you may retain as proof of your donation for tax purposes.

If I marry, have a baby, or adopt a child during the membership year, will the new individual be covered under my membership?
Yes, if you already purchased a Household level Membership, any additional family members or people residing at the residence during the membership year will be covered.  If you have an Individual membership, you will need to pay the additional fee to upgrade to a Household membership.  To help us keep your membership record up to date, please call (814) 870-9999 with any changes.

If my spouse resides at a nursing home, will he/she need a separate membership?
No, we will include in a senior couple membership one spouse residing in a skilled nursing facility.

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