Access to medical care is not only about healthcare services and insurance coverage, but also about transportation. Research conducted by the American Hospital Association shows that 20 percent of overall health can be attributed to medical care, while social and economic factors—including access to transportation—account for 40 percent. For many people, especially the elderly, injured or disabled, lack of transportation suited to their needs is a huge barrier, limiting their access to the medical care they need. Many people are forced to rely on family, friends or community organizations in order to get to and from their important appointments, but when those options don’t exist or become limited, who can they turn to? This is where non emergency medical transportation comes into play.
In this article, we’ll share more about the non emergency medical transportation industry and go over what you need to protect yourself, your passengers, and your business as a whole from the risks of the road. If you have any unanswered questions, our friendly and knowledgeable NEMT insurance agents are here to support you!
What is Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT)?
Non emergency medical transportation (NEMT) can be defined as a transportation service for individuals who are not in an emergency medical situation but need more specialized assistance than a taxi service is able to provide. Non emergency medical transportation providers are equipped to transport riders with special needs or those using wheelchairs or stretchers. Non emergency medical transportation providers come in all sizes, ranging from a single owner-operator with just one van to a larger company with a whole fleet of vehicles.
Non emergency medical transportation is widely known to serve Medicaid beneficiaries, but other healthcare and private entities are starting to offer rides to improve patient access to care. 2019 is widely expected to be a pivotal year of growth for non emergency medical transportation as research has started to highlight the gap in transportation services and more and more healthcare organizations are focusing on addressing the issue. In other words, now is a good time to explore getting into the non emergency medical transportation business.
What is NEMT Insurance?
NEMT insurance is a special type of for-hire livery insurance designed to protect businesses that transport passengers with specialized needs on a prearranged, non-emergency basis. NEMT insurance is usually a package of several different types of insurance, such as general and professional liability coverage, auto liability and physical damage coverage, and worker’s compensation insurance.
Compared to regular car insurance, NEMT businesses need multiple types of insurance, including some form of commercial auto insurance. They also need higher limits to ensure adequate protection in case of a collision or other issues on the road. Last but not least, if any of your NEMT vehicles have special equipment such as wheelchair lifts or ramps, you may need to invest in additional forms of coverage.
Why is NEMT Insurance so Important?
First of all, NEMT insurance is important for compliance reasons. If you are thinking about getting into the non emergency medical transportation business, you will need to familiarize yourself with the legislation and insurance requirements in your state or municipality in order to ensure your compliance. Each state has different laws and requirements for NEMT insurance, so you should talk with a specialized NEMT insurance agent that is familiar with your state. Additionally, if you partner with a transportation management company or dispatcher, they might have additional insurance coverage requirements that you’ll need to adhere to.
Insurance is always important, but especially for non emergency medical transportation providers because of the higher stakes and risks involved. NEMT is considered a form of high-risk livery. With this in mind, minimum requirements set by your state likely won’t provide sufficient coverage to fully protect your business. This is why we usually recommend going with more comprehensive insurance in order to be fully covered. For any driver, but especially NEMT professionals, peace of mind is priceless!
Non Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Application
As with any type of insurance, you’ll need to start with an NEMT insurance application. The first step in the application process is usually to request a quote. As previously mentioned, because laws and requirements related to insurance vary from place to place, it’s a good idea to find a specialized NEMT insurance provider that serves the state where your NEMT business is based.
How Much Does NEMT Insurance Cost?
The price you are quoted for NEMT insurance will depend on many factors such as your business’ location, year/make/model and condition of vehicle(s), number of vehicles and drivers, driving records, and more. The type and size of your business are two especially important factors. Wheelchair and stretcher-supported vehicles will usually be quoted higher rates compared to more standard vehicles. Most quotes will give you options for different levels of insurance coverage and different pricing options, from more basic to more comprehensive.
There are some ways to lower your NEMT insurance rates, and you can talk these over with your NEMT insurance provider to learn more when you request a quote. For example, having a detailed risk mitigation plan in place may help reduce your NEMT insurance rates. Additionally, it’s usually cheaper to bundle all the different types of insurance you need and get them through the same provider.
Non Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance in California, Oregon, and Washington
OTTIS proudly offers competitive rates and exceptional client-focused solutions to meet all of your non emergency medical transportation insurance needs. We currently serve companies and drivers in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.
Get an Insurance Quote from OTTIS
To get covered, or to explore your insurance options, request a free quote online today. You can also call us at (541) 223-5222 or email us at sales@OTTIServices.com for more information. Even if you already have insurance for your non emergency medical transportation business, talk to us to learn how we may be able to improve your coverage and lower your rates.