The Government Accountability Office provided a report to Congress in 2012 that stated ambulance rides can cost patients from $224 to $2,204. Rural pickups are generally more expensive than metropolitan ambulance rides due to the longer distance to the nearest hospital.
As of 2011, Medicare's approved payments for ambulance rides ranged from $289 to $481. Experts agree that these rates don't even cover the costs of running the ambulance or paying the paramedics who staff the ambulance. Typically ambulance rates are billed by the mile and supplemented with a dispatch fee that is charged regardless of where the ambulance picks up and drops off a patient.