Ambulance Services

TRICARE covers:
  • Treat and release: When an ambulance treats you, but doesn’t take you to the hospital.
  • Outpatient services. This includes:
    • Emergency transfers to or from your home, accident scene, or other location to a hospital.
  • Inpatient services. This includes:
    • Ambulance transfers from a hospital-based emergency roomThe hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention. 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/facility.
  • Air ambulance or boat ambulance transport when a land vehicle can't get to you, or when great distance or other obstacles are involved in transporting you to the nearest hospital with appropriate facilities. Your medical condition must require a speedy admission or indicate you can't be transferred by other means. The costs may differ from land ambulance.
  • Joint response situations: When an ambulance crew needs the help of a paramedic or intermediate EMT to give you advanced life support services

Payment of services and supplies provided by ambulance personnel at an accident scene may be allowed when your condition requires transfer to an inpatient acute setting and medical services and/or supplies are provided solely to stabilize your condition while awaiting the arrival of a more urgent means of transfer; e.g., air ambulance services.

TRICARE doesn't cover:

  • Ambulance service you use instead of taxi service when your condition would have permitted use of regular private transportation
  • Your transport or transfer to be closer to home, family, friends, or personal physician
  • Medicabs or ambicabs that transport you to and from medical appointments

This list of covered services is not all inclusive. TRICARE covers services that are medically necessaryTo be medically necessary means it is appropriate, reasonable, and adequate for your condition. and considered proven. There are special rules or limits on certain services, and some services are excluded.

Last Updated 3/20/2022