Medicare Coverage: Does Medicare Pay for Ambulance Service?

Most people want to know if their Medicare coverage will cover ambulance service long before they are even put onto a stretcher and wheeled into such a vehicle. In fact, most people do not worry about whether or not their insurance policy will pay for any of the cost of being transported in an ambulance until well after they have received needed treatment and have found themselves swallowed up by a month of bills. A person’s Medicare coverage may pay for ambulance services as long as certain conditions are met. A person must have original Medicare for the information listed below to apply to them.

Medicare Coverage of Emergency Services

The original Medicare program sponsored by the federal government will only pay for such services when a person’s health is endangered if the trip is not made. Medicare Part B covers part of the cost of transportation to and from a hospital or a skilled nursing facility. If the trip is not considered to be life threatening, a Medicare recipient usually has to pay for it out of his own pocket. The federal government has issued guidelines as to what constitutes serious endangerment and qualifies for Medicare coverage.

What Are Some Life-Threatening Situations?

A person who is bleeding severely is in shock or unconscious naturally qualifies for emergency services. The transportation is also considered to be necessary if a patient needs oxygen or skilled medical treatment during the ambulance trip, or if the patient needs to be restrained to prevent injury to himself or others. Medicare coverage under an HMO or a Medicare Advantage plan may be slightly different than what is offered under traditional Medicare. If a Medicare recipient worries that his Medicare coverage may not be enough, he may be able to subscribe to a local ambulance service.

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