What to know about Squad Care

Published 9:49 am Thursday, November 15, 2018

Those who received the mailing from the Prince Edward County Rescue Squad this week about joining its Rescue Squad Care program may have questions about the purpose of the program.

A letter detailing the annual Rescue Squad Care program cites that contributing $50 to the squad allows residents to become Squad Care members, which covers out of pocket expenses for uninsured portions of charges for ambulance transportation to the hospital. Transportation from the hospital to another location is not covered with the $50.

The membership covers immediate family members, such as spouses, minor children or parents, who live in a household.

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The membership begins January 2019 and lasts through December 2019.

The Squad Care plan is not insurance, according to the letter, and the rescue squad will claim payment from the household’s insurer or third-party agency, such as Medicare.

Carol Broadwater, treasurer with the Prince Edward County Rescue Squad, said the rescue squad will assign the squad care plan recipient with a membership card via mail. She said the member isn’t required to show the card if he or she has to be transported by ambulance.

Broadwater said they had three Fuqua School students who helped stuff, label and stamp the envelopes for the squad care program.

She said the cost of the program has risen this year, costing $35 last year. She said this was due to the necessity of purchasing new ambulances.

She said the models of ambulance the squad is driving now date to 2010. Broadwater said the base cost of an ambulance is approximately $250,000. This doesn’t include the cost to outfit the ambulance with equipment.

“Most folks in our community don’t realize that a new ambulance, which we’re in need of, or need a couple of them, cost $250,000 … to get one into our building without even stocking it,” Broadwater said.

“We want to keep providing essential services to the community and have trucks available,” Broadwater said.

Broadwater said based on whether the ambulance ride requires basic life support or advanced life support, which includes needing a paramedic or receiving medication, an ambulance ride can range anywhere from $450 to more than $600.

Broadwater said participants can send the Squad Care payment to P.O. Box 381, Farmville, VA 23901. Checks can be made out to “Squad Care.”