Excerpts from the journal-topics.com:

When people call 911 for ambulance service in Niles, their insurance company is charged a fee. Officials are considering increasing those fees to insurance companies after a proposal to set a flat $1,500 charge for paramedic ambulance service within the village.

Currently there is a tiered system for billing Niles residents versus non-residents with differing charges for basic life support, advanced life support.  Charges range from $500 for basic life support for a Niles resident to a $1,150 charge for advanced life support for a non resident. All vehicles responding to medical calls in Niles are considered top advanced life support, making a tiered system outdated.

Most North and Northwest suburban communities are now charging insurers $1,500 for all ambulance calls. The proposed change would bring Niles in line with those other communities. The proposal would include balanced billing, meaning that if the insurance company pays less than the entire amount, the village would accept the insurers payment and would not bill the patient for the difference. Under the proposal, charges would apply to Niles patients even if they were treated and transported by paramedics from another fire department responding to Niles as part of local mutual aid agreements.

Asked about charges for a non-insured patient who is transported by firefighters, the fire chief said, “It goes to billing. Each person would be looked at individually. The village can walk away (from collecting a bill), but it’s a process worked out with the billing company.”

The proposal may also need finance committee review before it is brought to trustees at a village board meeting for a final vote.