Medicaid is a health program by the Federal government and the States to provide health insurance for low-income families. A vast majority of Medicaid recipients are the elderly and disabled, often, they do not have the means to get to doctor’s offices and clinics, physical therapy sessions or routine check-ups. Since the primary goal of Medicaid is for these medically-needy people to gain access to health care, the Federal government has allowed states to organize for non-emergency medical transportation for those who need it.
Non-emergency medical transportation refers to the transport of persons, usually the elderly and the disabled, who are not in a critical or emergency situation to and from their medical appointments. Vehicles used for this kind of transportation business would typically need to be equipped to transport persons in wheelchairs, stretchers and also accommodate ambulatory people – those who can move and walk about albeit slowly, using canes and walkers.
Each state has been given much flexibility with arranging transportation for Medicaid beneficiaries – there are states that depend on public transportation such as buses, taxis, subways and even volunteers, since they are mandated to balance their spending on Medicaid transportation assistance.
If you’re one of those who are wondering how you can become a transportation provider for Medicaid, the following are a few steps you may follow.
As with any other business, becoming a transportation provider for Medicaid will entail:
- Business registration
- Valid driver’s license for drivers
- Automobile insurance
- Submission of driving record for drivers
- Criminal background check for drivers
- Submission of service provider agreement
- Procurement of a number of other special licenses and permits
Generally, for a person to become a transportation provider for Medicaid, one has to be at least 19 years of age, with a clean driving record. A record of DUIs, numerous accidents, and traffic tickets may disqualify an aspiring transportation provider. Additionally, certain offenses such as felonies and drug convictions and child molestation will also disqualify an applicant. If you are hiring other people to drive your vehicle/s, make sure that they are eligible under the guidelines set forth by your state’s Medicaid office for drivers.
Consider the vehicle/s you need in order to efficiently and comfortably transport Medicaid beneficiaries to and from their medical appointments. You will need to comply with required safety regulations, as well as likely need to modify and tailor your vehicle/s to accommodate wheelchairs, etc., as is necessary to transport the Medicaid beneficiaries.
State and local requirements, as well as Department of Health and Human Services and Medicaid transportation provider requirements vary from one state to another. Check your state’s requirements with regards to transportation licenses. You will also be required to become an approved provider by your state’s Department of Health and Human Services.