Transportation to a medical facility can be easily achievable if you have a private vehicle. Or if you live in an area where there is enough public transportation to get you there.
However, for people living in rural areas and who do not have their private vehicles, going to a medical facility can be quite a hassle.
That is why there is such a thing as medical transportation. So a common question many people have is, “Does Medicare cover transportation?” In this article, we answer this question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of transportation, as well as other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Transportation?
The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of non-emergency transportation services. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your transportation service.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for transportation services. When it comes to non-emergency transportation, Medicare often does not cover them.
However, there are a few exceptions. For example if your doctor says that ambulance transportation is necessary. If approved by Medicare, Medicare Part B will cover the costs.
On the other hand, Medicare provides coverage for emergency transportation. But specific criteria have to be met for them to cover emergency ambulance transportation, such as:
- If it is medically necessary
- Transport using other vehicles can put your health at further risks
If approved by Medicare, Medicare Part B will cover the costs of emergency transport. Medicare Part B may also cover air ambulance services but only under certain conditions. One of which is the air transport being medically necessary. If emergency transport is approved, Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the costs.
Some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) may provide coverage for non-emergency transport. Medicare Advantage plans will also cover emergency transport listed above.
Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers and some additional benefits. However, out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the plan provided by the plan providers. You’ll need to check with your plan provider to get the specifics for your plan.
How Much Does Transportation Cost?
There are many types of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, and each style has its rates. Non-emergency ambulance transportation rates may cost between $25 to $30.
Non-emergency transport for those who are using wheelchairs may cost $45 to $50. Use of a stretcher may cost $100 to $200.
Additional fees may add to the overall cost, such as additional mileage fees, wait-time fees, and additional attendant fees. You may pay $3 to $5 per mile for an additional mileage fee. And another $15 to $30 per 30 minutes for a wait-time fee. Adding another attendant may cost $5 to $10.
Why Is It Necessary To Have A Non-emergency Transportation?
Transportation to a medical facility is not always accessible to everyone, even in non-emergency situations. Even more than that, some people require non-emergency medical assistance to get to a medical facility.
Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.
Additional Info on Medicare Coverage
This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”
Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover nutritionists?