EDMOND — Residents have until Oct. 31 to opt out of the city's program that provides emergency ambulance service for $3 a month.
The monthly fee attached to utility bills pays for a membership in Emergency Medical Services Authority's TotalCare program.
There are 27,135 Edmond households that participate in the program that started three years ago. The program provides emergency ambulance service for everyone living in the home.
Residents can opt out of the program every year during October. To determine whether you are enrolled in the program, check your utility bill for a $3 charge listed as TotalCare.
The city started the program in November 2009 after sales tax collections dropped and there was less money in the general fund.
Edmond's contract for the 2012-13 fiscal year is $1,010,425, up from $996,445 the previous year.
The cost to residents has been $3 a month since the program started in Edmond. City officials anticipate the cost may have to be increased to cover the annual EMSA cost. Oklahoma City charges its residents $3.65 a month for the same program.
“It has done what we hoped it would do,” said Ross VanderHamm, city finance director. “There is still enough money in the fund right now. We may have to increase it a little if the rates increase.”
By the fiscal year 2016-2017, there may be only $6,000 left in the fund and that won't be enough to pay the bill.
“We will have gone six or seven years with no increase,” VanderHamm said.
The TotalCare program covers what insurance or Medicare doesn't pay on emergency ambulance runs only.
People have been upset when they called for an ambulance for a nonemergency run and found out the program does not pay.
“It doesn't happen often but when it does, it makes people mad,” VanderHamm said.
Residents who want to opt out or who want to sign up for the service should call 359-4541.
Those already enrolled don't need to do anything to continue service.