Let’s break down the categories of transportation that Medicare covers in more detail.
Original Medicare, specifically Part B, covers emergency transportation in the ambulance to the nearest applicable medical facility. This transportation is covered if you meet the following criteria:
You need medically necessary emergency services.
Transport in another vehicle could put your health at an increased risk.
Sometimes, ground transportation might not be an efficient way to get you the emergency treatment you need. In these cases, Part B may pay for emergency transportation by helicopter or plane.
Part B Deductible is $198
Medicare Advantage plans provide the same basic coverage as original Medicare, encompassing emergency transportation. But the rules or requirements for emergency transportation may vary by plan.
Medicare Part B may also cover non-emergency transportation in an ambulance. For Medicare to cover this type of service, you must have a note from your doctor stating that transportation in an ambulance is medically necessary.
The ambulance company may give you an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) before transporting you. You’ll receive an ABN when both of the following conditions apply:
You’re using an ambulance in a non-emergency situation.
The ambulance company doesn’t believe that Medicare will pay for this particular ambulance trip.
When you’re given an ABN, you’ll have to decide whether you still want to use the ambulance service. If you agree to the service, you may be responsible for paying the entire cost of Medicare chooses not to cover it.
Medicare Advantage plans may cover non-emergency transportation to a doctor’s office or clinic. But this service may be covered only if it’s to a location approved by your plan. Because rules or requirements can vary, it’s important to check your specific plan to see what’s included.
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