Medicare serves three populations—seniors, disabled, and people with advanced kidney disease—who rely on regular health care services and often face transportation challenges. Medicare’s basic benefits (Part A and Part B) do not include NEMT. But one third of Medicare beneficiaries elect to receive their benefits through Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
An increasing number of these plans choose to provide NEMT because it improves health for a modest investment. Additionally, many of Medicare’s new Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which organize care in the traditional Medicare program, have opted to provide medical transportation for beneficiaries with certain conditions; providing further recognition that medical transportation helps keep patients healthier. As Medicare continues to innovate, the Department of Health and Human Services can help Medicare beneficiaries stay healthy by making it easier to cover transportation in MA plans, ACOs, and other Medicare health care delivery models.