Close close icon

How to Get Medical Rides Covered by Medicare


Some Medicare plans provide options for the coverage of medical rides. This is good news because as seniors age, it becomes more difficult for some to attend doctor’s appointments. Let’s learn more about medical rides, how Medicare coverage works, and what services receive payment.

When Does Medicare Pay for Transportation to Medical Appointments?

Original Medicare helps cover medical rides for certain situations. Part A pays for emergency trips for inpatient hospital stays. Meanwhile, Part B pays for outpatient services Medicare deems medically necessary.

The latter includes serious health emergencies. For example, instances of heavy bleeding or your body going into shock. These ambulance rides will transport individuals to a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Unfortunately, Medicare on its own doesn’t cover trips for routine doctor visits or appointments. However, Original Medicare may pay for your trip to the doctor if you don’t have a valid driver’s license or if it’s unsafe for you to drive. Beneficiaries are generally responsible for paying 20% for transportation costs. Medicare covers the remaining 80%.

In 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave privately-run Medicare carriers more flexibility to expand supplemental benefits to include ride-sharing options. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and are unsure if your plan covers medical rides, contact your carrier.

Does Medicare Pay for Uber?

In the last few years, popular ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft provide transportation for Medicare beneficiaries with Advantage plans. Certain Medicare Advantage plans include Uber rides to and from doctor’s appointments.

Yet, this depends on your Medicare Advantage coverage. It’s best to check with your provider to see if you have these benefits. Uber launched Uber Health in 2018, which allows people to book rides that their plan will cover. Since March 2020, Uber Health has collaborated with over 1,000 partners to improve customer experience and build new features. The future of Medicare Advantage transportation through ridesharing apps shows no signs of slowing down.

Does Medicare Pay for Lyft?

Some Medicare Advantage plans pay for Lyft rides. Additionally, Medicaid in select states and certain other commercial plans provide this same service. To provide medical rides to patients, Lyft partnered with private carriers. Consequently, those on certain Advantage plans can take medical rides via Lyft to doctor’s appointments, pharmacies, and other health care facilities.

Lyft reports the partnership has proven to be beneficial for people living in areas that lack public transportation. Additionally, the company released a report in 2019, showing that 29% of riders found the service useful and said it was their only means of transportation to their doctor’s appointments. Lyft stated an Advantage carrier reported a 39% decrease in ride costs, along with a 40% drop in wait times for its beneficiaries. Earlier this year, Lyft launched another non-emergency medical transportation service.

How to Get Medicare to Pay for Your Rides

Here at MedicareFAQ, we want to make sure you’re always able to see your doctor. If you’re unsure if your medical rides receive coverage from your current plan, call us today. Our team of Medicare agents includes some of the best in the industry. To request premium quotes now, fill out our online rate form.

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *