Frequently Asked Questions.
Q: What is the purpose of the subscription drive?
A: SVEMS is an independent, non-profit corporation. Subscriptions are used to help offset the costs necessary to deliver high-quality, emergency medical services, and other medical transportation services - 24-hours a day/365 days a year.
Your paid subscription can also save you money!
Subscribers receive a 50% discount on any out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, and co-payments, related to medically necessary emergency ambulance service, provided by SVEMS, to the closest appropriate medical facility.
In addition, subscribers also receive discounts on other types of transportation services provided by SVEMS such as scheduled ambulance transports, and wheelchair van trips.
Your subscription helps to assure that Susquehanna Valley EMS (SVEMS) will have the staff, vehicles and equipment required to provide around-the-clock emergency protection for you and your family.
Q: Does SVEMS receive any tax or municipal funding?
A: SVEMS receives less than 1% of its annual funding - from a limited number local municipalities. The other 99% percent of the funding is obtained through subscription and billing fees.
Q: Will SVEMS bill my insurance company if I use the ambulance or other transportation services?
A: Yes. SVEMS reserves the right, and will bill its reasonable and customary fees, relating to any and all services rendered to subscribers by SVEMS - to any and all available reimbursement sources, including federal health care programs such as Medicare (excluding Medicaid) and other commercial primary and secondary insurance carriers.
We require all subscribers to fully cooperate with our designated billing representatives in their efforts to collect any and all lawful reimbursement associated with the provision of emergency medical services, nonemergency ambulance services or other applicable services rendered by SVEMS to subscribers.
Subscribers are required to furnish any and all insurance numbers, authorizations and other information needed by SVEMS to submit an insurance claim to any and all applicable insurance carriers.
Whenever possible, SVEMS will send invoices directly to the insurer or other medical benefits provider. However, subscribers may be required to notify their insurance carrier(s), their primary care physician or other applicable parties about services rendered by SVEMS in order to obtain authorization and payment of benefits directly to SVEMS.
Subscribers receiving ambulance and other related services are asked to assign all rights and benefits from any applicable insurance program or medical benefits, to SVEMS, for services rendered throughout the term of the subscription year.
Subscribers are asked to authorize and direct all reimbursement including any and all reimbursement received from any applicable insurer(s) or medical benefits provider(s) to be paid directly to SVEMS.
In the event, that the subscriber uses any services provided by SVEMS and has no available insurance coverage in effect at the time that services are rendered, the subscriber may be responsible to pay SVEMS a reduced or discounted fee for services associated with the cost of pre-hospital treatment and/or transport. The applications of these discounted payment conditions remain at the sole discretion of SVEMS and will be reviewed on a case- by- case basis. A schedule of discounted rates will be made available, upon written request.
Q: What happens if I happen to receive a check from my insurance company related to ambulance service?
A: Subscribers are required to immediately remit (within 5 days of receipt) to SVEMS any and all reimbursement from any source including: commercial insurance companies; governmental agencies; or any other third party sources for services provided under the terms and conditions of the subscription program.
Subscribers who fail to forward payments received from other sources will be responsible for any and all legal or collection fees incurred by SVEMS in order to recover any and all reimbursement received by the subscriber related to the provision of subscription related services including all related costs, fees and interest.
Q: When does my subscription become effective?
A: Emergency subscription coverage becomes effective, upon receipt and acceptance of the subscription application by SVEMS. However, a 30 day waiting period may be imposed on subscribers who request certain types of non-emergency services within the initial 30 day period.
Q: Do I need a subscription if I have health insurance
A: Most insurance companies do not pay 100% of total ambulance charges. In fact, most insurance plans require that you pay a co-pay and/or deductible. Your paid subscription assures that you will receive a 50% discount on any out- of-pocket expenses related to emergency ambulance service provided by SVEMS.
Also, keep in mind, that non-subscribers are often responsible for full payment of any and all applicable ambulance charges, which often can exceed $1,000.00 per trip.
Q: I thought SVEMS wrote off 100% of my co-pay and /or deductible amounts?
A: Due to rising co-pay and high deductible insurance trends, SVEMS was faced with either substantially increasing the cost of the annual subscription, or attempt to recover some revenue from subscribers who use the ambulance. We believe that this was the best way to proceed as subscribers can still save hundreds of dollars through our 50% subscriber discount program.
Q: What is NOT covered by a subscription?
The following services ARE NOT covered by your subscription:
Alternative modes of non-emergency transportation, including wheelchair van transports (However, subscribers are entitled to a discount on every wheelchair van transport)
Certain ambulance transports (emergency and non-emergency), which may be denied, or deemed outside the limits of your insurance coverage and /or do not meet the established medical necessity criteria*
Any charges related to long distance ambulance mileage charges or transport fees, which are based solely on patient and/or physician preference*
(*Subscribers receive a 50% discount on any applicable out-of-pocket expenses related to these non-covered services provided by SVEMS)
Q: What areas does SVEMS cover?
A: SVEMS serves all or some of the following townships and municipalities.
Columbia Borough, East Hempfield Township, East Petersburg Borough, Mount Joy Borough, Mountville Borough, West Hempfield Township, East Donegal Township, Manor Township, Mount Joy Township, Rapho Township and West Donegal Township.
Hallam Borough, Hellam Township, and Wrightsville Borough.
Q: Is my subscription still valid if I move to another residence?
A: Yes, as long as you maintain a primary residence within our ambulance coverage area. If you move outside of our coverage area, your subscription is no longer valid. Also, keep in mind, that subscriptions are non-refundable, non-transferable, and may be revoked at the sole discretion of SVEMS.
Q: Is Wheelchair Van or Ambulance Transportation covered by my subscription?
A: Alternative medical transportation including wheelchair van and ambulance transports are not included in the subscription benefit package. However, subscribers may be offered discounted rates, as permitted by law, for alternative medical transportation including medical related wheelchair van and invalid coach services.
Q: Will SVEMS transport me to the hospital of my choice?
A: Yes, in most cases, we will honor your request and transport you to the hospital of your choice. However, there are exceptions to this general rule:
SVEMS, in consultation with Medical Command Physicians, reserve the exclusive right to make all decisions regarding medical transportation services and the destination provided to all patients, including subscribers.
These decisions will be made based primarily upon the patient’s medical condition at the time of service and applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other regulations as promulgated by the Pa. Department of Health.
Secondary considerations include, but are not limited to, patient or family requests, the capability and availability of relevant medical services at a receiving medical facility, current policies and procedures and the availability of EMS system and hospital resources.
Q: What happens if SVEMS is not available to respond?
A: Emergency responses always have priority over other types of non-emergency transportation services. Emergency ambulance services are subject to emergency vehicle availability, staffing, scheduling, equipment and other system constraints.
During limited time periods, when all available resources are in use, SVEMS may be unable to respond and provide complete emergency services to a subscriber or 911 request - within its primary ambulance coverage area.
During these limited time periods, another ambulance service may be called upon by the Lancaster County 911 Center to provide “mutual aid” assistance including basic; advanced life support; or other EMS related services including paramedic assists. (Paramedic assist services are defined as an incident in which SVEMS provides basic life support and or transport services and another mutual aid organization provides the necessary advanced life support components of care including paramedic assessment and ALS treatments).
As SVEMS has no direct control over which mutual aid service will be sent as mutual aid resources, the subscriber may be responsible for payment of certain charges set forth by mutual aid organizations.
In order to help reduce subscriber payment liability for mutual aid services, SVEMS has entered into reciprocity agreements with a certain number of local mutual aid organizations. However, please note that subscription reciprocity coverage may not be available from all local mutual aid services. SVEMS may elect, at its sole discretion, to pay up to 50% of certain mutual aid fees and charges.