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About Medicare
May 14, 2024

Does Medicare cover Ambulance Services?

medicare ambulance services

For many seniors and their families, understanding the specifics of Medicare coverage is crucial for managing healthcare needs and financial planning. Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) provides coverage for ambulance services if an individual’s health condition is such that other means of transportation (like a car or taxi) would endanger their health. Here are the key scenarios where Medicare will cover ambulance services:

  • Emergency Situations: If you require immediate medical attention and any delay in professional medical intervention could seriously endanger your health, Medicare will cover ambulance services. This includes transport to a hospital or a critical access hospital (CAH).
  • Non-Emergency Situations: Medicare can also cover ambulance services in non-emergency situations, but only if a doctor certifies that such transportation is medically necessary because other transportation means could endanger your health.

To and From Specific Locations

Medicare’s coverage for ambulance services is generally limited to transportation to and from certain locations, including:

  • A hospital
  • A critical access hospital (CAH)
  • A skilled nursing facility (SNF)
  • Your home

It’s important to note that Medicare will cover the service to the nearest facility that can provide the necessary care. If the ambulance company takes you to a facility further away than the nearest appropriate one, Medicare’s reimbursement will be based on the cost to the nearest appropriate facility. The beneficiary may be responsible for any additional costs.

What You Pay

Under Medicare Part B, after meeting the annual deductible, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for ambulance services. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your copays will depend on the specific plan you have. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan (aka Medigap), your plan will pay secondary to Medicare.

In summary, Medicare does cover ambulance services. Coverage exceptions can vary based on urgency (emergency vs nonemergency services). If you have additional coverage, be sure to look over your plan documents so you are aware of how much you could pay should you need these services.

Did you know that AMAC’s Medicare Advisory service can help guide you through your Medicare journey? Not only can we your questions, we can also tell you which plans in your area your doctor accepts AND help you enroll into a plan of your choice!


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