Transportation to receive medical treatment is a mandatory benefit that must be offered by Medicaid programs in all states as of 2015, according to Medicaid.gov. This includes both emergency transportation via ambulance and nonemergency transportation via other means.
Nonemergency medical transportation, or NEMT, must be made to beneficiaries of Medicaid under Medicaid rules so that the beneficiary can receive necessary medical services, reports the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Under Medicaid guidelines, state Medicaid programs should use the least expensive mode of transport that is appropriate and available. Some states limit the number of trips that Medicaid will cover each month. Local community agencies, brokers or vendors may be contracted for the coordination of transportation services. While NEMT services are fully funded by Medicaid in most states, five states require Medicaid participants to pay copayments for transportation of up to $3.80 per trip. Some states may require prior approval for medical transportation, especially for trips of 100 miles or more.
Ambulance service is paid for as a mandatory benefit for Medicaid recipients in every state, although eight states require recipients to pay a copayment. Copayments, when required, are generally not more than $3. Transports by air and nonemergency transports via ambulance require prior approval in some states, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.