Day-to-day transportation may become increasingly more difficult as one gets older. Driving may not be an option and will definitely not be an option in the event of a personal medical emergency. Medicare does not typically cover transportation to routine doctor visits, but it does cover emergency and non-emergency ambulance services.
Emergency Ambulance Transportation
Medicare will cover emergency ambulance transportation to a hospital or skilled nursing facility (SNF). This option is available when you have a medical emergency and you don’t have another safe or reliable form of transportation, such as a car or a taxi. A few situations where you may need Medicare to cover emergency ambulance transportation include:
- Bleeding heavily
- Being in shock
- Being unconscious
- Needing skilled medical treatment during transportation
There could be more examples that require the need for emergency transportation. Medicare will decide the amount of coverage they will provide based on the seriousness of the medical condition and if you could have been safely transported by another mode of transportation.
Medicare Air Transportation
In certain emergency situations, Medicare will cover air ambulance transportation. Air ambulance transportation can typically be described as helicopter service used to transport a patient to a hospital or other care facility. Medicare will only cover air ambulance transportation if:
- The pickup location is difficult to reach by ground transportation
- There are obstacles such as heavy traffic or long distances that could prevent the patient from getting quick help if they traveled by ground
Medicare will only pay the air transportation fee if you meet the required criteria. However, if there was a possibility for the patient to have safe ground transportation without danger to life or health, Medicare will only pay the ground transportation ambulance rate and the patient would be responsible for the difference.
Non-Emergency Ambulance Transportation with Medicare
Sometimes, you might need transportation services for non-emergency situations. In these events, Medicare might partially cover these non-emergency ambulance ground services. There are only certain situations where Medicare will partially cover these services. This includes:
- A situation when ambulance transportation is essential to get treatment or diagnose the condition
- The use of any other type of transportation might put you and your health in danger
- When you have written orders from your doctor saying that you need ambulance transportation.
Because Medicare will not cover the cost in full, you will be responsible for any remaining costs. You will have to pay these costs out-of-pocket.
Medicare Ambulance Costs
In general, under Medicare Part B, Medicare will cover up to 80% of costs associated with ambulance transportation. It may pay less, depending on your unique situation. Outside of the covered 80%, the patient is responsible for the remaining 20%. If you don’t want to pay any money out-of-pocket for your ambulance services, it might be smart to pick up a Medicare supplement plan to get full coverage.
Medicare Supplements and Ambulance Services
Medicare supplement policies cover any remaining costs that Medicare does not cover. This means that your Medicare supplement plan will cover any leftover costs resulting from your ambulance services. Depending on the policy you have, you might not have to pay any money out-of-pocket for your transportation services.
We Can Help
There are many different situations when you might need emergency or non-emergency ambulance services. We can help you determine which cases Medicare will cover. If you need help choosing a Medicare supplement plan so that your emergency and non-emergency transportation services are covered in full, we can help. Feel free to get your Medicare supplement quote online or give us a call at (800) 310-2550.