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.