Does Insurance Cover Ambulance Rides?

Joshua Ramos
Source: Newsweek

For so many individuals, an ambulance ride is a frightening reality. Often the furthest from our minds, it is a circumstance that is the result of an unplanned emergency. Although many hope to never have to consider it, there are some logistic aspects often overlooked regarding emergency medical care. Subsequently, when discussing that, it is important to know if insurance covers ambulance rides.

Ambulance rides can become a massive financial burden on American families, primarily because they are completely unexpected. Forbes reports that 51% of ambulance rides for individuals with insurance still led to out-of-network charges that resulted in medical bills. Therefore, it is vitally important to know what ambulance rides are covered through insurance, and what you may be expected to pay.

Are Ambulance Rides Covered?

Source: New York Times

Also Read: Nicklaus Hospital Foundation To Accept Bitcoin Donations

Now, let’s first answer the primary question at hand; is an ambulance ride covered by your health insurance? The answer is a little bit trickier than a strict yes or no, but it is important to note that most private health insurance companies will offer some kind of ambulance coverage.

However, there are still things that go into factoring just how much that insurance company will pay for. Firstly, it is highly dependent on the reason for the ambulance requirement in the first place. Specifically, most health insurance companies will state that such coverage will only apply to transports that are “medically necessary.”

Specifically, Charleston South Carolina emergency doctor Ken Perry said. “Whether an insurance company will cover an ambulance ride depends on whether the transport was medically necessary or not,” Perry stated. Moreover, even the medical necessity of the ride will not exempt you from certain charges.

Perry notes that even necessary ambulance rides will still come with certain charges. Specifically, you may be asked to pay a copay, coinsurance, and a deductible after the ambulance ride. A deductible is an amount that you pay before the health insurance company covers certain medical expenses.

Additionally, Perry defines medical necessity as a patient needing medical care and attention before reaching the hospital. Indeed, he notes difficulty breathing or life-threatening conditions that are connected to the distinction of whether or not the ride was medically necessary.

Cost of an Ambulance Ride

US Dollar USD Currency Greenback Bill BRICS

Also Read: United States Has Committed More Than $24.9B of Taxpayer Money to Ukraine, Says Report

Now, let’s delve a little bit more into the actual cost associated with an ambulance ride. Although these kinds of services do not appear that they should be expensive, they certainly are. For instance, these emergency vehicles can cost as much as $250,000. Moreover, if you are being transported by ambulance, you are likely being treated by expensive medical technology and support equipment.

For the typical ambulance journey, you are likely to pay several hundred, to possibly several thousand dollars per transport. However, there are different costs associated that are dependent on a variety of factors. So, let’s explore some of the things that could impact the price of an ambulance ride.

Firstly, location will be a bit factor, as some parts of the country will have more expensive ambulance services than others. Then, you will have to factor in the distance that was traveled in the vehicle. Most often, these kinds of emergencies will charge by the mile. Moreover, things like the type of ambulance you receive, and the treatment you get on the trip can all impact the overall price of the transport.

The United States Congress also passed a No Surprises Act in 2022. This was designed to help reduce the amount that you had to pay in connection to unexpected medical bills. Moreover, the act covers emergency services, non-emergency services at various in-network facilities, and stabilization services. However, ambulance rides were not listed under the services the act supports.

Car Insurance Coverage?

USA, New York State, Hudson Valley (Source: Arkansas Advocate)

Also Read: Is a Recession Coming in 2023?

Although health insurance is logically the best option, auto insurance can provide some benefits when coping with the cost of an ambulance ride. Specifically, auto insurance does not require you to pay a deductible or a copay. Additionally, car insurance may cover both for your health policy.

Auto insurance can also help with healthcare costs that accrue due to an automobile accident. Specifically, there are medical payment coverage and personal injury protection available for most car insurance. Yet, it is important to remember that these kinds of things are options, so it is best to inquire with your insurance provider to know if you have them.

Still, auto insurance can help cover ambulance services that are required in an automobile accident. However, it is still important to remember that these services operate under the “medically necessary” limitations that are offered by health insurance. Specifically, the ride must be deemed a medical necessity for your auto insurance to cover it. However, if they do, you may be in a far better position than relying on your health insurance.