EMS Membership Program FAQ's

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  • 1. What is the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Membership Program?

    A. Affordable
    The Membership Program offers Burbank residents an affordable means for paying paramedic and ambulance costs not covered by medical insurance when 9-1-1 is called for assistance.

    B. Protection
    The Membership Program enables Burbank citizens to protect their families from unexpected out-of-pocket expenses as a result of emergency medical care provided by the Burbank Fire Department.

    C. Emergency Medical Services Provider
    The Membership Program is not an insurance plan – the Burbank Fire Department is a provider of services. When a member receives treatment and emergency transportation, their medical insurance will be billed.

    D. Payment Options
    For $60.00 a year or $5.00 a month added to their Burbank Water and Power utility bill, Burbank residents will not be billed for emergency paramedic and transport services provided by the Burbank Fire Department, as long as their membership dues are current. Membership dues are non-refundable.

    E. What does the membership fee cover?
    All emergency medical services and ambulance transportation to receiving hospitals provided by the Burbank Fire Department are covered. If you have medical insurance, the Burbank Fire Department will bill them for the services rendered, and will accept whatever they pay as “payment in full”.

    F. Medicare Payments
    Medicare may not cover the total cost of pre-hospital medical treatment that the Paramedics provide or for ambulance transportation. You should contact Medicare to verify your specific coverage.

    G. Medi-Cal Payments
    Medi-Cal payments vary. Contact Medi-Cal to verify your specific coverage. Medi-Cal is accepted as payment in full, and EMS membership is not necessary. However, residents covered by Medi-Cal may still want to consider EMS membership if the Medi-Cal plan requires a “share of cost,” or if there are household residents who are not covered under the Medi-Cal plan.
  • 2. Who do I call when I have a medical emergency?

    9-1-1 is always the number to call in an emergency. The Membership Program office phone number is for administrative use only.
  • 3. As a Burbank resident, how do I enroll in the EMS Membership Program?

    To enroll, please follow these steps:

    1. Fill out an Enrollment Form.

    2. Choose one of these payment options (membership dues are non-refundable)
      - If you receive a Burbank Water and Power bill, you can have $5.00 added to your bill per month.
      OR
      - To pay the fee annually, send a check for $60.00 payable to the Burbank Fire Department. 

    3. Please return the form to the Burbank Fire Department through one of these options: 
      - Mail the form to:
        Burbank Fire Department
        EMS Membership Program
        311 E. Orange Grove Ave.
        Burbank, CA 91502
      OR
      - If you choose the $5 monthly payment option added to your Burbank Water and Power bill, scan the form and email it to EMSMembership@burbankca.gov
  • 4. Do I get a member identification card once I join the EMS Membership Program?

    No. In the early development of the Membership Program, the Burbank Fire Department realized that using a card could cause delays or problems in emergencies if someone attempts to find the card before requesting help. Your membership is confirmed by your name, address and date of birth.
  • 5. Who is covered under the membership fee?

    All permanent residents identified by name on the enrollment form are covered by the Membership Program.
  • 6. What if there are changes or updates to my household?

    Notify the Burbank Fire Department directly of any changes or updates such as: household member additions/deletions, address, and/or phone number by emailing the Membership Program office at EMSMembership@burbankca.gov or calling (818) 238-3486. If a member moves to a different residence in Burbank and wishes to keep the membership, they must notify the Membership Program office of the address change. Failure to update member information may affect benefit coverage.
  • 7. Does the EMS Membership Program cover members of my household outside the City of Burbank?

    No. Members are only covered within the City of Burbank for emergency incidents requiring medical attention and transportation to the closest receiving hospital.
  • 8. Is non-emergency ambulance transportation covered to or from a hospital, doctor's office, rehab facility or retirement home?

    No. The Membership Program is for emergency transportation only. Non-emergency, routine ambulance transportation is not a benefit of the Membership Program and is not covered.
  • 9. Why do I need to join the EMS Membership Program if I already have medical insurance?

    Your insurance company may only pay a portion of charges, or may not pay for any charges from the Burbank Fire Department for emergency medical treatment and transportation. This could result in an unpaid balance for which you are responsible. As an active member, you have extra financial protection in an unexpected emergency and are not responsible for any out-of-pocket charges from the Burbank Fire Department.
  • 10. Why does the Burbank Fire Department bill my insurance plan?

    The Burbank Fire Department is not an insurance company. The Burbank Fire Department is a provider of services. To maintain an exceptional level of emergency service to the community, the Burbank Fire Department must recover the costs associated with the treatment and transportation provided.
  • 11. What happens if I do not enroll in the EMS Membership Program?

    Whether or not you are a member, you will always receive the highest level of paramedic and ambulance service by the Burbank Fire Department. By enrolling in the Membership Program, the enrollment fee covers any charges related to emergency medical services and ambulance transportation provided by the Burbank Fire Department that are not covered by your insurance. You incur no out-of-pocket expense related to paramedic or ambulance charges. As a non-member, however, you will be billed for the services. You may give the bill to your insurance company but will be responsible for any unpaid balance. Your insurance coverage may not include or pay for the treatment you received.
  • 12. Is there a reduced EMS Membership Program fee for low-income families?

    The purpose of the Membership Program is to provide families with an alternative to paying for the cost of emergency medical services and ambulance transportation. The monthly fee of $5.00 is itself the reduced fee.
  • 13. I pay property taxes. Do my tax dollars pay for ambulance service?

    No, tax dollars provide for fire service to Burbank residents but not paramedic and ambulance service. The Burbank Fire Department has charged for emergency medical services and ambulance transportation since the Membership Program began.
  • 14. If I decide not to join the EMS Membership Program, what are the charges for paramedic and emergency ambulance services?

    The actual cost of paramedic treatment and ambulance transportation varies, but can range anywhere from $115.00 to over $1,000.00. The Burbank Fire Department transportation charges coincide with the fees authorized by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS). Click on the Section Links tab to view the General Public Ambulance Rates.