City ambulance membership program slated for May/June start

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

The City of Pawhuska will launch a membership program beginning in May for the municipally-owned ambulance service.

Customers paying a $4 surcharge on their city utility bill are to be pre-enrolled in the program, city officials said. During the month of May, local households will be given the opportunity to opt out of the plan, officials added.

Residential customers who remit the added monthly utility charge are to be entitled to municipal ambulance services during the year, as long as the use of the service meets Medicare medical necessity standards, according to the city plan.

Most insurance policies cover a portion of the cost for ambulance calls, less a deductible amount. The entire cost of the ambulance service call would be paid for members of the city program.

The monthly fee is to be eliminated for local residents who purchase Pawhuska City Ambulance memberships through payment of the $48-a-year subscription fee, officials said.

Pawhuska City Council voted formal approval for the new ambulance plan during an April 7 meeting. The ambulance services proposal had previously been announced on the city’s website as well as in handbills that were distributed throughout the community.

Residents living within a 10-mile radius of the Pawhuska Fire Station can obtain the same membership benefits for local ambulance service by paying a lump sum subscription fee of $60 per year, according to the city.

The ambulance plan will only be available to residential customers, city officials said. Businesses are not eligible for the subscription service. Barnsdall and Wynona residents are also considered outside of the membership service area, the officials added.

Average charge for a Pawhuska City Ambulance call is around $800, local officials estimated.

Pawhuska customers wishing to opt out of the membership program and not have the $4 fee included on their utility bills are required to contact City Hall — at 918-287-3040 — during the month of May.

Members who fail to make “opt-out” arrangements on or before May 30 will be assessed the monthly fee for the next year, as May is to be the only time when a current customer is allowed to drop out of the program.

Anyone with questions about the program are asked to call the City of Pawhuska Utility Office at 918-287-3040.