Does Medicare Cover Ambulance Rides?

Yes, Medicare Part B usually covers ambulance transportation to a hospital or medical facility. However, Original Medicare (Part B) only covers ambulance rides that are deemed medically necessary. The ambulance ride must be the only transportation appropriate for your medical condition. Otherwise, Medicare may not cover the cost.

Costs With Original Medicare

Even if your ground ambulance ride is deemed medically necessary, you may still be left with a particular portion of the cost to bear. Medicare Part B generally covers 80% of the approved amount for ambulance services, leaving you with the remaining 20% to pay out of pocket. However, a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy may cover the cost-sharing amount.

What If I Can't Afford An Ambulance?

Medicaid may be the next best option if you cannot afford an ambulance. Medicaid is a federal and state-funded health insurance program that provides coverage to individuals with limited income and resources. In most cases, Medicaid covers ambulance transportation for medically necessary trips. This includes emergency medical services (EMS), such as an ambulance ride from an accident or medical emergency scene to a hospital or clinic.

Things To Know

In some cases, ground ambulance transportation may be done by a provider who does not participate in Medicare. If this happens, Medicare may not cover ambulance services, and you may be left with the total amount to pay. Before booking an ambulance trip, it is best to check with your healthcare provider or ambulance service provider if they participate in Medicare and if they will accept Medicare payment.

It is also worth noting that Medicare may not cover non-emergency ambulance transportation, such as medical transportation to and from doctor appointments or non-emergency ambulance services. However, if your condition requires transportation via stretcher or oxygen, Medicare may cover these costs under specific conditions.

Bottom Line

As a Medicare beneficiary, the last thing you want to worry about during an emergency is the cost of transportation. If you are covered under Medicare, it is essential to understand what services are covered and what you may be required to pay for out-of-pocket. While Medicare usually covers most of the cost of ambulance rides that are deemed medically necessary, it is always best to confirm with your healthcare provider or ambulance provider before booking the ride. By doing so, you can ensure that you receive the necessary medical attention while staying financially protected.

Article sources: Does Medicare Cover Ambulance? | Ambulance Transportation Basics


  • How much does an ambulance cost?

    The cost of an ambulance ride can vary, depending on the type of services provided. Generally, Medicare Part B covers up to 80% of the approved amount for medically necessary ambulance services. However, you may be left with a certain portion of the cost to bear out-of-pocket.

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