If you need a ride to a doctor appointment, learn about Medicare coverage for medical transportation and other programs that may offer services for non-emergency transportation.
Does Medicare cover me if I need a ride to a doctor appointment?
While Medicare Part B covers ambulance services in medically necessary, emergency situations, its coverage of non-emergency transportation is more limited. You may be able to get coverage for a non-emergency ambulance ride to a doctor appointment if your doctor orders it as medically necessary. However, in general, if you need a ride to a doctor appointment for routine care, Medicare won’t cover this type of transportation.
Does Medicaid cover me if I need a ride to a doctor appointment?
While Medicare may not cover your non-emergency ride to a doctor appointment, there are other programs that might. Medicaid may be an option for limited-income beneficiaries who need a ride to a doctor appointment for more routine care.
In general, Medicaid may cover your ride to a doctor appointment if:
- You don’t have a working vehicle or a driver’s license.
- It’s not safe for you to drive or wait for a ride to a doctor appointment because of a health condition, physical disability, or mental disability.
- You have no other reasonable means of getting to the doctor.
If your ride to a doctor appointment qualifies, Medicaid-covered transportation could include:
- Van or carpool
It’s up to each Medicaid program to decide the most appropriate means of transportation for your ride to a doctor appointment. Keep in mind that Medicaid programs are state-run, and each state has its own criteria for medical transportation coverage. However, federal law mandates coverage for Medicaid beneficiaries who need a ride to doctor appointments in medically necessary situations. If you’re eligible for Medicaid, contact your state program to find out if rides to doctor appointments are covered in your case.
Do other programs provide rides to doctor appointments?
Some cities have local community programs that may provide a ride to a doctor appointment if you’re a senior with no other means of transportation. Many of these programs are non-profit and run by volunteers, providing discounted, donation-based, or free rides to doctor appointments and other routine needs. Some organizations provide “door-to-door” services that go beyond a simple ride to a doctor appointment; this might include hands-on support for those who need more physical assistance, such as helping a passenger from his door to the vehicle or accompanying a disabled person into the hospital building instead of simply dropping him off.
If you’re looking for a ride to a doctor appointment, visit Eldercare.gov for more information on senior transportation services in your city. You can also contact your local Area Agency on Aging if you need a ride to a doctor appointment and need help finding resources where you live.
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