Yukon, Samaritan ink ambulance deal

Samaritan EMS will continue to serve as Yukon’s ambulance service for the next five years under a contract approved Thursday by the Yukon City Council.

The contract, which is for one year beginning July 1, is renewable for four additional years.

It was approved during a special meeting Thursday that lasted less than two minutes.

The contract appears to be very similar to the contract approved last year when Samaritan was originally selected to replace Emergency Medical Services Authority.

One major difference is that Yukon will no longer pay a supplement to Samaritan as it did this year.

The city was providing a $16,000 per month stipend to the ambulance service for providing two ambulances in the community on a 24-hour period. The total amount Yukon paid to Samaritan was $192,000.

This year, the ambulance service will be funded through a membership program that is being administered by the city’s utility department.

About 6,700 of the city’s residential water customers will pay an additional $3.65 per month on their water bills to fund the membership program.

That is expected to generate about $251,000 for the company annually after the city collects a service fee.

Officials said about 1,100 of its residential customers opted out of the program.

Under the program, any expenses not covered by insurance for a medically necessary ambulance call will be written off. That includes insurance deductibles.

Anyone not participating in the program will be responsible for the full costs that are not covered by insurance.

The program covers anyone living at the residence.

Previously, residents had to ask to participate in the membership program.

Officials with Samaritan had requested the change, saying the “opt in” program was not very successful because many of the company’s customers felt they were already paying for the program.

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