About 90% of older adults limit themselves to their homes and communities, and many stop driving because of mental and physical challenges related to vision and mobility. Lack of reliable transportation services restricts their independence and targets them to social isolation, leading to mental health problems like depression. Hence, finding options for free older adults transportation services is necessary to make commuting from places easier for older adults.
The right option is to choose a health insurance plan that also covers senior transportation. This way, you or your loved one can access free older adults transportation that takes you to doctor’s appointments, get groceries, or a laboratory for tests. Let’s have a look at some health insurance plans that cover elderly transportation for medical or non-emergency medical (NEMT) purposes:
1. Original Medicare Plan:
Medicare Part A & B, which is also known as the Original Medicare Plan, covers some but not all types of medical transportation. It covers emergency transportation services like an ambulance for people who need to go to a skilled nursing facility or hospital to receive emergency treatment.
In cases where ambulance service is not fast enough, Original Medicare may also provide coverage for emergency transportation via airplane or helicopter. The beneficiaries pay 20% of the cost of the emergency transportation for older adults after paying the Part B deductible.
Moreover, Original Medicare also covers ambulance service for non-emergency purposes once the doctor approves that ambulance transportation is medically necessary.
2. Medicare Advantage Plan:
Medicare Advantage plan (MA), also known as Medicare Part C, provides free older adults transportation for non-emergency purposes. It covers transportation to a doctor’s office or clinic for regular checkups. However, transportation coverage varies depending on your area and plan provider. Therefore, contact your insurance agency to learn about the transportation benefit in your Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicaid covers the cost of transportation for emergency and non-emergency purposes. For instance, it can cover your visit to a doctor’s clinic or hospital. Medicaid covers free senior transportation for elderly who fit the criteria below:older adults
- Do not have a car
- Have physical or mental challenges
- Require wheelchair for mobility
- Need medical transport for acute conditions
- Need stretcher and ambulance services
- Do not have a driver’s license and cannot travel alone
Medicaid offers different types of vehicles for transportation like cars, vans, taxis, etc. Furthermore, you may also have to share a ride with people. The fee for Medicaid transport can range from $25 to $250, while the out-of-pocket cost varies from state to state. Each one-way trip can cost as little as $1 and $2. Contact your state’s Medicaid agency to know whether you are eligible for the plan or not.
4. Private Health Insurance Plans:
Reliable private health insurance companies like Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc., cover free elderly transportation to and from medical appointments under their health plans. Furthermore, private insurance agencies provide free rides to pharmacies, healthcare facilities, test laboratories, or doctor’s clinics.
Through such plans, transportation is provided through the following vehicles:
Moreover, private health plans provide free senior transportation with no deductibles and out-of-pocket payments. You can contact your provider to learn more about transportation benefits and coverage.
How do I get transportation for medical appointments?
Older people have to worry about transportation when visiting a doctor or pharmacy because there are few reliable free senior transportation services. Some seniors require wheelchair-accessible vehicles due to mobility issues, so here are some affordable transportation options for both medical and non-medical purposes:
- Public transport
- Taxis and ride-hailing apps like UberHealth, Lyft, and GoGoGrandparent
- Demand-response transportation
- Volunteer transportation programs
- Paratransit service
What can be used to transport patients?
Due to medical needs, older adults are more likely to demand a transportation service. Here are seven ways to transport older patients:
- In case of a medical emergency, ambulatory transportation is ideal.
- Non-emergency medical transportation for doctor and dental appointments
- Stretcher transportation for patients who are bed-ridden and cannot move at all
- In case the senior cannot walk independently, wheelchair transportation is used
From the above discourse, we can conclude that federal government and state-funded health plans like Medicare and Medicaid cover free elderly transportation for emergency and non-emergency medical purposes at little to no cost. Also, health plans by private insurance agencies provide free older adults transportation, allowing the elderly to be independent. Such transportation services by health insurance plans remove the need to hire other agencies for commuting from places while paying hundreds of dollars per month.
Reach out today at NewMedicare.