A decades-long service in the town of Monson is being under-utilized and an effort is underway to get the word out.
It’s an ambulance subscription program that ensures emergency transports throughout the year, with an up-front fee and no insurance co-pays or deductibles.
Emergencies happen each and every day, and in the town of Monson, they don't want people worrying about the bill.
That's why the fire department is once again urging people to enroll in the Monson Ambulance Subscription Program, which takes care of any co-payments or deductibles in an emergency with one $75 payment - no questions asked.
"That's where this system comes in handy, because some people cannot afford it. Their payment may be $20, it may be $200. If someone has a deductible, that deductible could be $1,500 they are responsible for," said Monson Fire Chief Laurent McDonald.
The service is available to any Monson resident and covers all members of the house for the year as many times as it's needed. You will not be billed for any unpaid balances your insurance won't cover.
McDonald told Western Mass News that an average ambulance ride could cost $2,000 to $3,000.
After the $75, the fire department will pay for the rest.
"In some cases, we have to write off what the difference that we don't make in terms of payment, but it still funds the ambulance service, and provides a benefit, and some security to our citizens," McDonald added.
The program is not new. In fact, it's been around for nearly 30 years.
Other towns use it too, including Ludlow and Ware:
However, this year, numbers are down in Monson. Only about 100 households have enrolled - three times fewer than a typical year.
Longtime subscribers like Anne O'Shea are encouraging others to give it a try. She was actually at the fire department Tuesday to pay for this year.
"It's far more having to go into your savings account, and grab a whole bunch of money to pay...$75 and it's done for the year," O'Shea noted.
For any Monson resident interested in the program, you can CLICK HERE to download the enrollment form. More information on the program can be obtained by calling Monson Fire at (413) 267-3132.
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