Does Medicare Cover Transportation?

Although Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not cover transportation to and from your doctor’s office, many Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) can cover non-emergency transportation.

In fact, some Medicare Advantage plans partner with ride-sharing services to provide transportation to members.

Grandparents in a car with grandchildren

Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover transportation

In April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will be expanding the list of benefits private insurance companies are allowed to cover as part of a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C).

The new expanded benefits could include coverage for transportation to doctor’s offices.

Non-Emergency ambulance transportation

Medicare Part B only covers non-emergency ambulance services to the nearest medical facility that is able to provide you with appropriate care if you have a written order from your doctor saying that it is medically necessary.

If you go to a facility that is farther away, Medicare’s coverage will be based on the charge to the closest facility, and you must pay the difference.

If the ambulance company thinks that Medicare might not cover your non-emergency ambulance service, they should provide you with an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage.

Emergency ambulance transportation

Medicare covers emergency ambulance transportation if you’ve had a sudden medical emergency and your health is in danger.

Medicare may pay for emergency ambulance transportation by helicopter or airplane if your condition requires rapid transportation that cannot be provided on the ground.

Coverage for emergency ambulance transportation depends on the seriousness of your condition.

In some cases, Medicare may cover transportation in an ambulance if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and need ambulance transportation to and from the facility where you receive dialysis treatment.

Medicare transportation costs

If your ambulance service is covered by Medicare, Medicare Part B typically covers 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, and you pay 20 percent (once your deductible is met).

In 2019, the Medicare Part B deductible is $185 per year.

Get more from your Medicare coverage

Medicare Advantage plans provide the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B combined into one simple plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits such as coverage for prescription drugs, dental, vision care and – starting in 2019 – transportation to doctor’s offices.

To learn more about your Medicare Advantage plan options and to compare plans that may be available where you live call a licensed insurance agent today.

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Or call 1-800-557-6059 (TTY: 711) 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

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