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Why taking an ambulance is so expensive in the United States

It's an open secret among Americans that calling for an ambulance is a financial gamble.

According to a recent study, 71% of ambulance providers don't take the patient's insurance. That same study found that 79% of patients who took a ground ambulance could be on the hook for an average fee of $450 after their insurance paid out. By comparison, air ambulances can cost the average patient $21,700 after the insurance pays out.

These surprise bills can be a huge problem, especially when nearly four in 10 Americans would have to borrow money to cover an unexpected $1,000 emergency.

Like the rest of the health-care industry, ambulance operators are feeling intense financial pressure during the coronavirus crisis, and that's causing many municipalities to raise service fees.

Watch the video above to learn why ambulance services cost so much in the United States and what's being done to solve the problem.

Watch more:
How Germany's universal health-care system compares to the United States

CNBC

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