State Insurance Coverage and Non-Emergency Patients Medical Transport
So, just what is non-emergency medical transportation? Well, it can be used as an alternative to an air ambulance, or as ideal ground travel for those patients who are medically stable and need to go to another location for additional treatment.
There are two types of travel options available for non-emergency patients. One type of travel is medically necessary, this means that the patient needs to go see another doctor or specialist in a long distance location. And the other option is one purely for leisure, when a person requires some assistance, due to their medical condition, but they wish to travel, to visit someone or go to a public place.
When patients who wish to use medical transport for leisure travel, they are provided with the same level of comfort as those traveling for care. Non-emergency transportation companies take most insurances, including Medicaid.
Check with the company prior to arranging for patient pick-up, to ensure that your insurance is accepted. When patients with Medicaid require this type of transportation, they receive travel at a reduced or lowered cost. The transportation company will coordinate with your insurance company to advise you of what type of co-pay is required to utilize the services.
For those with Medicaid coverage only, the costs of non-emergency care are included in their benefits summary. Patients on Medicaid must find a transport company from within the list of network providers. The list is included in the medical benefits booklet. Patients with private insurance may select the company that best suits their medically needs.
Of course, whenever a patient who requires assistance decides to use a private medical transport company for leisure activities, this isn’t covered by any insurance company. Although, non-emergency medical transport is sometimes used in this capacity for those who are suffering from terminal illnesses. Again, these individuals do not require immediate life-saving intervention.
Other than the prognosis of terminal illness, their condition is stable. This is the case with some nationwide non-profits. For example, the Make-A-Wish foundation will utilize private transportation services to ensure the safety and comfort of patients who contact them and are approved. When this happens, patients either receive bedside to venue care or the pick-up may be from a private residence or hospice, in order to fulfill their dying (last) wish to travel somewhere or to attend some type of public function.
Having insurance or paying out-of-pocket doesn’t change the availability of services offered by private non-emergency medical transportation companies. The differences between other insurance companies and Medicaid is not so much an issue of money. Often, when there are Medicaid recipients requesting transportation to a hospital or some other type of facility, it’s because they do not own a car or have access to any other form of transportation.
For other types of insurance coverage, other than state provided, you will still have to contact the provider to make certain that there is an option for round trip private non-emergency medical travel. This would include travel for additional expenses related to the trip and those necessary to keep the medical appointment. Patients who require non-emergency treatment may still require things such as wound dressings, walkers, wheelchair, lifts, canes, crutches, meals, lodging for overnight stays, and caregiver assistance for bathing, dressing or eating.