Medicare Coverage of Nonemergency Transportation


What It Is

Nonemergency transportation of a patient to and from home

What's Covered

Neither Medicare Part A nor Medicare Part B covers routine transportation for a patient to or from home in nonemergency situations. However, Medicare Part B sometimes covers nonemergency ambulance transportation between home and a hospital or other place of treatment or diagnosis if the patient's doctor certifies in writing that transportation in something other than an ambulance would endanger the patient's health (see Ambulance Services).

A written statement by a doctor is necessary for Medicare Part B coverage of nonemergency ambulance coverage, but it doesn't guarantee Medicare coverage. To be certain of coverage for nonemergency ambulance transportation, ask the treating physician's office to get prior approval from Medicare Part B. If a patient hires ambulance transportation but it isn't approved by Medicare Part B, the patient could be personally responsible for the full cost.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plans, also called Medicare Advantage plans, must cover everything that's included in original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. But sometimes a Part C plan covers more, with extra services or an expanded amount of coverage. (Co-payments for Part C plans may also be different than those for Part A or Part B.) To find out whether your plan provides extra coverage or requires different co-payments, contact the plan directly.

What Medicare Pays

Medicare pays nothing for most nonemergency transportation. Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for nonemergency ambulance services if it approves those services based on a written statement of medical necessity from the patient's doctor.

Important: Regardless of the rules regarding any particular type of care, in order for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a Medicare Part C plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements:

  • The care must be "medically necessary." This means that it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider, and that Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) agrees that the care is necessary and proper. For help getting your care covered, see FAQ: How Can I Increase the Odds That Medicare Will Cover My Medical Service?

  • The care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.

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21 Comments So Far. Add Your Wisdom.

1 day ago

If you are In a hospital and need to be transported to a Rehab and your primary payor source is FFS Medicare, you would need to meet the Ambulance transportation Qualifer in order for Medicare to cover the cost of transport. Medicare only covers medically necessary use of ambulance. If your Medicare is an HMO they may cover the cost of transportation from the hospital to the snf.


22 days ago

is there free transportation any where back and force to drs for people on medicare


Anonymous said about 1 month ago

my brother had cancer, heart failure, diabetes etc but in texas( Brenham) not had transportation specialty he is disability and his try need help no body direction him to whoes, cancer center in brenham not had transportation for disability person who had colon cancer and is now his stack nothing help to and go tro Doctor for treatment, he try cal 211 not eligible too. do you trhink goverment send ot him just for die??????????????????i real need help..........


Anonymous said 3 months ago

I'm having knee surgery next week. After three days I'm going to a medical center for theropy. I won't be able to drive at that time and I'm wondering if my transportion (about sixty miles will be covered by medacare)?


3 months ago

Hospice is no longer a place but, rather, a philosophy of care that offers spiritual,mental, emotional, physical, and medical support to those facing one of life’s greatest journeys. It is a compassionate approach that allows those faced with a life-threatening illness to maintain dignity and control over their lives and to spend quality time with their family and friends in the comfort of their own homes whether that is in a private residence, skilled nursing facility, or assisted living facility. The goal is not to cure, but to provide comfort and maintain the highest possible quality of life for as long as possible.


Anonymous said 5 months ago

From what I have found so far on this subject, if you get Medicaid you can get help with transportation and there are services you can call, or you can have someone sign up for mileage reimbursements as an "Individual Transportation Provider" (or you can sign yourself up for some reimbursement) as an ITP. However, if you are on SSD and get Medicare, you can get NOTHING in the way of help for transportation to and from doctor visits, etc. I was trying to figure out how I'm going to get my son home from the hospital he was transferred to which is 2 hours from where we live. My financial situation is dire at the moment and I don't know how I will afford to travel so far when I don't have the funds for gas at the moment? Why is it that if you worked steadily and payed into the system, you seem to get dumped on but if you didn't,couldn't or wouldn't work enough to pay into the system then you get Medicaid immediately upon receiving SSI. My son had to wait for over a year after he started receiving SSD before he could get Medicare and they wouldn't give him Medicaid. I don't get it and it makes me feel like he got dumped on for working so hard for so many years before his disability came about. I know quite a few people who receive SSI and some of them never paid a dime into the system and others paid very little because they didn't work throughout their lives, or didn't work much, yet they got Medicaid medical coverage right away. I'm sorry to rant, but it just feels so unfair the way it's all done and decided. I have nothing against anyone personally, so I hope no one takes offense to my rant . I just needed to vent and add what I'm finding on the subject.


6 months ago

Hello, Caring.com offers other informational resources that may be helpful. http://www.caring.com/articles/how-to-find-transportation-services-for-every-budget http://www.caring.com/articles/how-to-find-low-cost-transportation-services Perhaps an in-home care provider can assist as well. Your local Area Agency on the Aging may be able to help you locate an affordable service: http://www.caring.com/local/area-agency-on-aging


Anonymous said 6 months ago

I recieve ss disability and get medicare and medicade, Im 55 years old and also had a above knee amputation. Im having a hard time getting non emergency transportation to my doctors appointments.They say I don't qualify.I only recieve 11.00 dollars more than people that gets ssi. What will i have to do ,just not go to my doctors appointments because of not having transportation?


8 months ago

I just looked into this and Medicaid will pay for transportation services to and from your doctor. So if you are low income you can go to your state office and apply for medicaid and get the transportation you need.


8 months ago

I have known of several people who were provided medical transportation to and from their doctors appointments. So I am not sure why you are stating that medicare/medicaid will not pay for this.


11 months ago

My dentist has scheduled a surgery for which I will be unable to drive that day. I have a car but have nobody to drive me. I wonder if Medicare transport will help


11 months ago

When you on a fixed income it's hard to get extra help when you need it. How they forget we worked hard for our money and now at our age we have to fight for what we earned .


11 months ago

It seems to me the elderly need help now more than ever. They work hard for their money to get nothing now!!!


about 1 year ago

There's a lot of fantastic <a href="http://edenambulance.com/">medical transportation services in NJ</a>. Some people don't realize what is put into it, until it's too late.


almost 2 years ago

Very interested blog. I like this blog after read. You also should read this blog and i hope you also like it.


about 2 years ago

A doctor has recommended that I get an endoscopy and a colonoscopy to help diagnose my digestive problem, but the tests require that you have a driver. I'm not disabled; I have a vehicle and can drive it, but I have no friends or family close by who drive, or who could drive me on weekdays. I have no debt, but I am on a low, fixed income. I'm wondering if I would qualify for Medicare-paid medical transportation if I get a written statement from a physician.


Anonymous said about 2 years ago

It only mentions ambulance I need to know about a van that comes to your home and takes you to the hospital and back home


Anonymous said about 2 years ago


Anonymous said about 2 years ago

I just wanted to know if a medicare patient could get a medical van to take them back and forth from her home to the hospital for lung treatment,


over 2 years ago

An interesting info. I wonder where and how did you base all these? these are all catchy and I had a great time reading your entire post. Thanks!


over 3 years ago

This information is misleading. According to Medicare publication 11021 "Emergency and Non-Emergency Transportation", pg 5 states "In some cases Medicare may cover ambulance services from your home or a medical facility to get care for a health condition that requires you to be transported only by ambulance." It further states "Non-emergency ambulance transportation may be provided, in some cases, when you need ambulance transportation to diagnose or treat your health condition and use of any other method of transportation could endanger your health." "In some cases, Medicare covers limited non-emergency ambulance transportation if you're confined to your bed, and you have a statement from your doctor or other health care provider saying that ambulance transportation is necessary because of your medical condition. Even if you aren't confined to your bed, in some cases, Medicare may still cover your non-emergency ambulance trip if you have this statement." So check your information and quit misleading the elderly.


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