For Consumers

Ground ambulance services and surprise billing

We were directed by the legislature to work with the Department of Health and the Health Care Authority to study how to prevent balance billing from ground ambulance services and to recommend whether or not these services should be subject to Washington's Balance Billing Protection Act. Our advisory group on this issue sent its recommendations to the legislature in October 2023. Legislation banning ground ambulance balance billing was enacted in 2024. 

During the 2024 Legislative Session, the Washington legislature enacted SSB 5986- Protecting consumers from out-of-network health care services charges. This bill goes into effect on January 1, 2025, and bans balance billing for covered emergency and non-emergency ground ambulance transportation. This bill was based on recommendations of the Ground Ambulance Advisory Group commissioned by the legislature in 2022 to assess if ground ambulance balance billing protections should be included in the Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA). The advisory group report and meeting materials are available below. If you have questions about balance billing protections, please contact the Office of the Insurance Commissioner at 800-562-6900 or our online portal

Advisory group and report

Comments on draft report, policy options, findings rankings

OrganizationSubmitted by
Christine Dolly
Candice Bock
Pat Songer
Catie Holstein 
Andrea Philhower
Rhonda Holden
Emily Brice
Shawn Baird
Alex Hamasaki
Samuel Wilcoxson
Aya Samman

Advisory Group meetings

August 10 meeting materials

Comments on policy options 

July 26 meeting materials

June 15 meeting materials

May 4 meeting materials

March 31 meeting materials

February 27 meeting materials

January 20 meeting materials