(KAIT/NBC) - If you've taken an ambulance ride to the hospital recently, you might have been astonished by the bill.
That's because the days when towns and cities relied on community ambulance services may be fading away.
It's part of a trend that surged in the Great Recession--ambulance services run through the fire department are now contracted out to save taxpayers money.
However, Consumers Union Special Projects Director Betsy Imholz says these tax cuts can leave the individual footing a big bill.
"The bottom line is consumers are stuck in the middle and we as patients, as consumers, should not be in that position of putting everything at risk financially just to get the emergency medical care that we need," she said.
To reduce such bills, Imholz says to try and negotiate with your insurer.
For more tips on how to handle these bills, click here.