ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — The Montgomery County Council has approved a countywide ambulance fee, reviving a law that was struck down by referendum.

The Council approved the fee Tuesday under which patients will be charged $300 to $800 for ambulance services. In most situations, the fee would be paid for by health insurance. People without health insurance and people below a certain income threshold would be exempt.

Volunteer firefighter groups oppose the fee in part because they worry it would make residents hesitant to call for assistance. A majority of local jurisdictions including Prince George’s, Fairfax and Prince William counties have the fee.

The fee would take effect in January 2013. Officials said they expect it to be challenged again on the November ballot.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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