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Featured Medicaid service of the day: ambulance transportation

This is part of a series examining the Medicaid benefits that the radical right wants to cut.

When a Medicaid recipient is severely injured in a car accident the federal government does not require that states cover the ambulance ride. Thankfully, North Carolina does cover ambulance transportation under Medicaid.

Transportation is only covered when it’s medically necessary and when taking less costly methods of travel, like a bus, would endanger the life of the patient. Those suffering from unconsciousness or shock, severe burns, diabetic coma or insulin shock, rape victims, and accident victims are some of the categories eligible for ground transport.

Air transport is covered in cases of bleeding in the brain, severe burns, and multiple life-threatening injuries.

It’s easy to say that in theory we should cut optional Medicaid services. But when it comes to making victims of severe trauma drive themselves to the hospital — things aren’t so clear cut.

4 Comments

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  2. Kimberly

    November 26, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I have heard so many things about the prospective cuts and have seen far too many cuts made to critical services. Thankfully, NC does cover ambulance service under Medicaid, at least for now. If that cut is made then I can imagine the problems that will ensue. We would have patients that will die before they can find a way to get to the hospital, or families of patients stuck with a bill that they can’t afford to pay and from there a battle to pay it before collections procedures are initiated or worse yet, they need that ambulance service again and are denied. Ambulance service should always be covered. There are too many problems with our health care system and the cuts to critical programs and services are only making it worse for everyone. When are we, as a society, going to realize that everyone needs health care and access to affordable quality health insurance and we finally start helping our fellow man and our future by providing access to care and affordable quality health insurance to everyone? Doing so only brightens our future by creating a healthy workforce that will produce the revenue that our government needs while increasing the health and well being of our civilization.

  3. Adam Linker

    November 26, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Well said.

  4. joy

    August 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    and it’s not just the transportation, it’s the first line medical care the EMTs provide that can make the difference between life and death.