FAQ Friday: Does Medicare cover Ambulance rides

Medicare Part B covers ambulance services to or from a hospital, critical access hospital (CAH), or skilled nursing facility (SNF). Medicare covers and helps pay for ambulance services only when other transportation could endanger your health, like if you have a health condition that requires this type of transportation. Little known fact: If you can walk to the ambulance, Medicare will not pay for the service. So, even if you can walk, DON’T DO IT!

Medicare will only cover ambulance services to the nearest appropriate medical facility that’s able to give you the care you need. If you choose to be transported to a facility farther away, Medicare’s payment will be based on the charge to the closest appropriate facility. If no local facilities are able to give you the care you need, Medicare will pay for transportation to the nearest facility outside your local area that’s able to give you necessary care.

You can get emergency ambulance transportation when you’ve had a sudden medical emergency, and your health is in serious danger because you can’t be safely transported by other means, like by car or taxi.

These are some examples of when Medicare might cover emergency ambulance transportation:

  • You’re in shock, unconscious, or bleeding heavily.
  • You need skilled medical treatment during transportation.