Medicare Transportation Services

Some Medicare plans provide options for coverage of medical transportation services. This is good news for seniors because as you age, it becomes more difficult to get out of the house and attend doctor appointments. Below, we review the different types of Medicare transportation, when they are covered, and how to utilize the benefits.

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Will Medicare Pay if I Need a Ride to My Doctor’s Appointment?

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

The latter, Medicare Part B, covers ambulance rides to transport you in case of an emergency. An ambulance will take you to a hospital or skilled nursing facility, whichever is necessary.

Unfortunately, Original Medicare does not cover trips for routine doctor visits or appointments. The only circumstance where Original Medicare might cover your medical transportation to a doctor’s office is if you do not have a valid driver’s license or if it’s unsafe for you to drive due to a medical condition. In this situation, you are generally responsible for paying 20% for transportation costs while Original Medicare covers the remaining 80%.

If you decide to utilize Medicare coverage for non-emergency doctors’ appointments, you must provide written proof from your doctor that the transportation is necessary. You must also sign an Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN). This form states that if Medicare does not provide coverage, you will be responsible for paying.

Does Medicare Advantage Provide Free Transportation to Medical Appointments?

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

Several Medicare Advantage plans now offer innovative benefits to Medicare enrollees, including transportation services. Depending on your plan, you may have to use a certain transportation company, or you could receive reimbursement for using travel alternatives.

Do Medicare Supplements Provide Medical Transportation?

Medicare Supplement plans only provide coverage once Original Medicare pays its portion. As a form of secondary coverage, Medicare Supplement plans do not provide you with additional benefits aside from what Original Medicare provides.

Thus, Medicare Supplement plans do not provide medical transportation unless you cannot drive due to a medical condition or do not have a valid driver’s license and provide written proof from your physician that you require Medicare transportation services.

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Non-Medicare Transportation Services for Seniors

Non-Medicare transportation services are also available for seniors who require transportation but might not meet Medicare’s criteria for receiving transportation benefits. To help you find these services in your area, your city may have a local Area Agencies on Aging office nearby. This office can help anyone age 60 and over with gaining access to transportation. They may recommend commercial transportation options like:

  • Senior Transportation Programs
  • Lyft
  • Uber
  • GoGoGrandparent
  • SilverRide

These companies have specialized healthcare pricing to help you get to and from doctors’ appointments and reduce no-show and cancellation requests.

Does Medicare Pay for Uber?

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

However, this depends on your Medicare Advantage coverage. It’s best to check with your provider to see if you have these benefits, as only certain plans will cover transportation. 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.

Does Medicare Pay for Lyft?

Some Medicare Advantage plans pay for Lyft rides. To provide medical rides to patients, Lyft has partnered with private carriers who can utilize Lyft services at a discounted cost. Consequently, those on certain Medicare Advantage plans can take medical rides via Lyft to doctor’s appointments, pharmacies, and other healthcare 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.

The company stated a Medicare Advantage carrier reported a 39% decrease in ride costs, along with a 40% drop in wait times for its beneficiaries. More recently, Lyft launched another non-emergency medical transportation service.

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How to Get Medicare to Pay for Your Rides

Having medical transportation services to and from your doctor’s appointments is almost as important as having a great health insurance plan. Without transportation, you would not be able to receive the care necessary to keep you healthy. At MedicareFAQ, we want to make sure you're always able to see your doctor.

If you’re unsure if your form of medical transportation receives coverage from your current plan, call us today. Our team of Medicare agents includes some of the best in the industry. To request a comparison now, fill out our online rate form.

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Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and 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.

14 thoughts on “Medicare Transportation Services

    1. Shelley, to get Original Medicare to pay for your Uber or Lyft rides, you must submit a Request of Medical Payment form as well as proof documenting the ride was for medical purposes to Medicare. If you are on an Advantage plan, you should contact your carrier for specific instructions on how to file the claim.


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