Yes, Medicare Part B may cover medically necessary transportation ordered by a doctor, and Medicare Part A may cover emergency transportation. However, Medicare Part A and B do not cover non-emergency transportation to and from your doctor's office.
Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover non-emergency transportation to plan-approved locations, such as trips to your doctor's office or clinic.
It's important to note that all Medicare Advantage plans don't include transportation benefits, and there may not be plans available where you live that cover transportation. Compare plans online or call to speak with a licensed insurance agent to compare plan benefits where you live.
The only types of private Medicare plans that provides coverage for transportation are certain Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs) that may offer these types of benefits are for beneficiaries who have Medicaid or a qualifying chronic illness.
Medicare Advantage plans provide the same benefits as Medicare Part A and Part B combined into one simple plan.
Many Medicare Advantage plans may also offer additional benefits such as coverage for prescription drugs and/or dental care or vision care. Medicare Advantage plans that offer additional benefits aren’t available in all areas, however.
In April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would expand the list of benefits private insurance companies are allowed to cover as part of a Medicare Advantage plan.
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Medicare Part B only covers non-emergency ambulance services to the nearest medical facility that is able to provide you with appropriate care if you have a written order from your doctor saying that it is medically necessary.
If you go to a facility that is farther away, Medicare’s coverage will be based on the charge to the closest facility, and you may pay the difference.
If the ambulance company thinks that Medicare might not cover your non-emergency ambulance service, they should provide you with an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage.
Medicare covers emergency ambulance transportation if you’ve had a sudden medical emergency and your health is in danger.
Medicare may pay for emergency ambulance transportation by helicopter or airplane if your condition requires rapid transportation that cannot be provided on the ground.
Coverage for emergency ambulance transportation depends on the seriousness of your condition.
In some cases, Medicare may cover transportation in an ambulance if you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and need ambulance transportation to and from the facility where you receive dialysis treatment.
If your ambulance service is covered by Medicare, Medicare Part B typically covers 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount, and you pay 20 percent (once your deductible is met).
In 2024, the Medicare Part B deductible is $240 per year.
In order for transportation to be covered by Original Medicare, it must be ordered by a doctor.
For transportation to be covered by private Medicare insurance, it must be included in the plan’s benefits and fit within the parameters of any terms or conditions of the coverage outlined by the plan.
Contact your plan carrier to learn how your plan may cover transportation.
You can call to speak with a licensed insurance agent to find out if Medicare plans that cover transportation are available near you. You can also compare plan benefits online
Medicare Supplement Insurance plans (also called Medigap) are sold by private insurance companies to work alongside your Original Medicare coverage.
A Medigap plan won't typically cover transportation. If Original Medicare covers your transportation, a Medigap plan can help cover the Medicare deductible and/or copay costs that you may face.
For example, if your ambulance ride to the hospital is covered by Medicare Part B, some types of Medicare Supplement plans will cover your Part B deductible, and all Medigap plans provide at least some coverage for your Part B coinsurance costs.
Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans are very different things, and you cannot have a Medigap plan and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
Medicare Advantage plans that cover additional benefits such as transportation may not be available in your area. To learn more about the Medicare Advantage plan options where you live, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.
We represent carriers such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare®, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna Healthcare, Wellcare, or Kaiser Permanente.
Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.
Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.
Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.
Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.
A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.