Does Medicare Cover Ambulance Services?

Yes, Medicare Part B generally covers ambulance services to or from a hospital, skilled nursing facility or critical access hospital.

Keep in mind that Medicare typically only covers ambulance services to the nearest appropriate medical facility. If you choose to be transported to a facility that is further away, Medicare may only pay the cost for transportation to the nearest facility, and you may have to pay the difference.

Woman being taken to ambulance by paramedics

What ambulance services does Medicare cover?

Ambulance services fall into a few different categories:

1. Emergency ambulance transportation

If you’ve had a sudden medical emergency and you cannot be safely transported by other means, Medicare may cover your emergency ambulance transportation.

Some examples of emergency situations include:

  • You’re unconscious, bleeding heavily or in shock
  • You require skilled medical treatment during transportation

2. Air transportation

Medicare may pay for ambulance transportation via a helicopter or airplane if your condition requires rapid transportation that ground transportation cannot provide.

3. Non-emergency ambulance transportation

Non-emergency ambulance transportation may be covered by Medicare if you have a written order from your physician stating that ambulance transportation is medically necessary. This is typically limited to certain circumstances.

What if I am not enrolled in Medicare Part B?

If you only have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), you should note that Part A does not cover ambulance services.

If you want Medicare coverage for ambulance services, you may want to consider enrolling in Medicare Part B.

Medicare Advantage plans can also cover ambulance services

By law, Medicare Advantage plans must provide the same hospital and medical benefits as Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).

This means that your Medicare Advantage plan will generally cover ambulance services, as long as they would be covered under the Medicare Part B guidelines described above.

How to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan

Did you know that Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare?

In addition to hospital insurance and ambulance service coverage, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer prescription drug coverage as well as other additional benefits.

To learn more and to compare Medicare Advantage plans available where you live, speak with a licensed sales today by calling TTY Users: 711, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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