Obtaining emergency medical transportation is one of a number of things that Medicaid will cover for eligible parties. Obviously, an emergency is defined as any time medical needs are immediate, like having a heart attack or being severely injured in a car accident. In these situations, you might require being taken to the emergency room via ambulance or medical flight and prior approval is not required to receive this type of transportation.
So, what if it isn’t an emergency?
If you require transportation to a medical appointment, it isn’t considered an emergency by Medicaid, but you may still be able to receive help if and when you need it. One of the other things Medicaid will cover is rides both to and from your doctor, the hospital or any other medical office for the purposes of receiving Medicaid-approved care. This coverage is known as “non-emergency medical transportation,” because it doesn’t involve an emergency situation. They could also provide transportation in case you don’t have a working vehicle of your own or don’t have a license. You could receive help if you have a physical or mental disability or are otherwise unable to travel or wait for a ride alone. Coverage for these services could be different based on individual situations or needs, and you may require prior approval from your state Medicaid agency to qualify.
Who Can Get a Ride?
Federal law mandates that Medicaid beneficiaries can get rides to and from care providers as needed. Each state’s rules regarding when rides are necessary differ from each other, so check rules for your state. Normally, you’ll get instructions as to when rides are necessary and how and when you can schedule one after you enroll in the Medicaid program. You might need to talk with a Medicaid caseworker, a ride service, or some other agency. No matter what, the contact should:
- Help you decide if you have an immediate need for care;
- Make sure you are eligible for Medicaid;
- Verify you have an appointment with a Medicaid provider;
- Make sure you have no other reasonable way to make it to your appointment; and
- Decide what type of ride Medicaid can provide for your situation.
Using this information, the contact will then either set up the ride you need or tell you how to do it on your own. A pre-approved person or ride service will then transport you to and from your appointment.
How Do I Get a Ride?
Rides may be by taxi, car, van, public bus or a subway, depending on your state’s rules and your own needs. It could be shared with others. You need to call in advance to set up your ride, and you should also call if you need to cancel. It’s important to remember that the driver is only able to give you or a family member a ride to a medical facility and back home.
Make sure you follow the rules so that Medicaid will approve and pay for the ride. Drivers may only be authorized to pick up riders at a specific time, so it’s important to:
- Be ready on time for the pick up; and
- Call the ride service to cancel a ride if you do not need one anymore.
If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.