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Ambulance Service Coverage

In times of emergency, TRICARE covers ambulance services for patient care. However, there are certain rules and limitations, so you should be familiar with TRICARE policy before seeking transportation by ambulance for yourself or a TRICARE-covered family member.

The following ambulance services are covered:

• Emergency transfers between a beneficiary’s home, accident scene or other location and a hospital
• Transfers between hospitals
• Ambulance transfers from a hospital-based emergency room to a hospital more capable of providing the required care
• Transfers between a hospital or skilled nursing facility and another hospital-based or freestanding outpatient therapeutic or diagnostic department or facility

The following are excluded:

• Use of an ambulance service instead of taxi service when the patient’s condition would have permitted use of regular private transportation
• Transport or transfer of a patient primarily for the purpose of having the patient nearer to home, family, friends or personal physician
• Medicabs or ambicabs that function primarily as public passenger conveyances transporting patients to and from their medical appointments

Note: Air or boat ambulance is only covered when the pickup point is inaccessible by a land vehicle, or when great distance or other obstacles are involved in transporting the patient to the nearest hospital with appropriate facilities, and the patient’s medical condition warrants speedy admission or is such that transfer by other means is not advisable.

Ambulance Service