Non-emergency Ambulance Services Covered by Medicare With Doctors Approval

There has been a lot going on in the health care world these last few months. The new health care laws passed late last year by the Supreme Court and already, things are beginning to change. You may have felt some of the changes or maybe you are blissfully unaware that anything has changed at all.

The new laws can be confusing, especially when there are hundreds of reports and reporters telling you what’s true and what’s not true. Articles and opinion pieces have been written to tell you what’s what. News anchors hold panels to discuss if these laws will really help the American people or not. It’s easy to get lost in all the insurance-speak and medical talk. It’s easy to take your friend’s word for what’s really going on, instead of a reporter’s because at least your friend is in the same boat as you.

You can surf the Internet, check out the official government websites and blogs that take you through the new laws one section at a time. But sometimes, understanding what they mean can be difficult.

Some things will change in the next few months, regarding health care providers and the services they offer. Some changes won’t be felt for another year or so. For the most part though, nothing is going to change for a lot of people; to be honest, most people won’t even feel the new health care laws going into effect.

For those folks who are covered by Medicare, there is something you should know about ambulance services, in particular, non-emergency ambulance services.

Ambulance services will be covered if an emergency arises and you need immediate medical attention. If you need to be transported to a hospital, a critical access hospital or a skilled nursing facility for medically necessary services, you will be covered if any other form of transportation would, or could endanger your health. For example, you don’t have to rely on your spouse to drive you to the nearest hospital, if an ambulance and an EMT, while on route to the hospital could provide the treatment you need. Medicare will cover you.

If you need emergency transportation in a helicopter or an airplane, you may only be covered by Medicare if your location is hard to get too by ground transportation, or if there is a large distance to cover and heavy traffic may prevent you from receiving the treatment you need in a timely fashion. For example, you need to be airlifted to another hospital for a life saving treatment, but you happen to be at a hospital in an urban area and rush hour traffic resembles a parking lot more often than not. Medicare will most likely cover you.

For non-emergency ambulance services, Medicare will only cover your bills if your doctor signs a note that states that a driver is needed and absolutely, medically necessary. In other words, you, a spouse, or other family member cannot drive you and you need a ride to a hospital for a treatment. Non-emergency services provided by Comp-X Medical non-emergency transport, like nonemergency ground transportation, would only be covered by Medicare if a doctor signed off on a note. Otherwise, you could still call Comp-X for a ride, but you would be responsible for the bill.

If you are covered by Medicare, get a doctor’s note saying you need non-emergency medical transportation, and you choose a medical facility that is not the closest to your home, Medicare’s payment will be based on the charge to the closest facility. You will be billed what is left over. If no facility that is close to you will provide the service you need, and you have no choice but to travel some distance, Medicare will help you pay transportation costs to the nearest hospital outside your local area.

The new health care laws don’t have to be confusing or hard to understand. If you have any questions about whether or not you are covered by your insurance company or by Medicare, call one of Comp-X’s telephone operators. They are standing by 24/7, all year round to answer your questions, and address your comments and concerns. We are happy to help you navigate the complexity of the health care laws and the insurance company-speak.