Bill that would restore ambulance services advances

Stonington - The effort to restore the Westerly Ambulance Corps subscription service for Pawcatuck residents moved closer to success Thursday as the General Assembly's Insurance and Real Estate Committee approved a bill that would do that.

The vote came two days after the committee held a public hearing on the bill, in which First Selectman Ed Haberek and Westerly Ambulance officials urged the legislature to approve the bill, which now moves on to the state Senate.

State Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, and State Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-18th District, have been working to get the bill passed.

The ambulance corps had allowed a large number of Pawcatuck residents to buy a $35 annual subscription that pays for any costs not covered by their own insurance or medicare.

But the ambulance company had to end the offer and refund the subscription fees last year after discovering Connecticut insurance law does not allow the ambulance company to sell subscriptions because it is not an insurance company.

The proposed bill would repeal the law and substitute language that would state "an ambulance service or company that provides emergency medical services on a subscription basis and is a nonprofit volunteer organization shall not be deemed to be engaged in the business of insurance." The bill would not only apply to Westerly Ambulance but other volunteer EMS organizations that operate subscription services in the state.

 

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