What Type of Transportation Does Medicare Cover?
Whether it’s an ambulance ride to the hospital or a lift to the doctor’s office, transportation plays a big role in our health. And as you enroll in Medicare, you may be wondering what type of transportation is covered under your plan.
Let’s dive into the details about Medicare and the different types of medical transportation it may cover
Does Medicare Cover Ambulance Rides?
No one wants to think about riding in an ambulance. But if you do, it’s important to know whether your Medicare plan will cover the cost.
Medicare Part B (part of Original Medicare) will cover ground ambulance transportation if you need to go to a hospital, critical access hospital, or a skilled nursing facility for medically necessary services. Medicare will cover the ambulance ride if other transportation would endanger your health. If your condition is serious enough, Medicare may also cover the cost of an air ambulance.
Part B may also cover some limited non-emergency ambulance transportation if you have an order from your doctor saying the transportation is medically necessary. For example, Medicare may cover ambulance rides to and from dialysis centers if you have end-stage kidney disease.
Original Medicare will only cover the cost of the ambulance ride to the nearest appropriate facility. However, if the nearest facility can’t treat your condition, Medicare will pay for the ambulance to take you to the closest facility that can.
Although Medicare Part B covers most ambulance rides, you may still have to pay coinsurance for these services — 20% of the amount approved by Medicare. The Part B deductible will also apply to these services.
Does Medicare Cover Transportation to Routine Medical Appointments?
Original Medicare (Part A and B) doesn’t cover costs for transportation to doctor’s appointments for routine medical care. But if you’re interested in getting coverage for transportation to medical appointments as well as ambulance coverage, you might consider a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). In some cases, a Medicare Advantage Plan may even cover transportation to the gym.
Other Non-Medicare Transportation Options
If you need transportation to routine medical appointments, there may be other options in your community that can help.
- Check in with your local Area Agency on Aging or senior center to see if they offer transportation. You can find your local Agency on Aging and nearby resources through the Administration on Community Living (ACL) website.
- If you have Medicaid in addition to Medicare, you can visit Medicaid.gov to see if you’re eligible for transportation services.
- Your local Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) can also offer transportation services. Visit the PACE website.