What kind of Insurance do I need for Medical Transportation?

When done right, insurance for non-emergency medical transportation can ensure that businesses have critical assets covered

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What kind of Insurance do I need for Medical Transportation?

A simple market reality has driven many of the challenges for medical transportation over the past few years: Like everything else within the healthcare industry, costs are rising, making medical transportation even more expensive. Fortunately, as costs have risen, so has customer innovation. Insurance for medical transportation is a form of passenger transportation insurance that can reduce business costs, provide them with a slew of options that may help ease the burden of business, and ensure that businesses are better positioned to move customers to critical medical appointments at affordable prices.

When done right, insurance for non-emergency medical transportation can ensure that businesses have critical assets covered.

The answer to the question, "What kind of insurance do I need for medical transportation?" is complex. Normal automobile or business insurance may not apply to certain medical vehicles, which have complex needs and are more expensive than most commercially available insurance. 

Medical vehicles are defined as:

  • Ambulances that travel to and from emergency locations and to critical care facilities. 
  • Medical vehicles specially equipped to help patients travel to a medical facility, including doctors' offices, dentists, hospitals, or more.
  • Medical transportation that drives patients from a nursing home or other type of clinical facility to doctor's appointments, which may require specialized medical staff and care.

Insurance for non-emergency medical transportation is insurance that is specifically meant for these vehicles. The challenge with obtaining this insurance is that it can be very expensive. Medical transportation vehicles often travel extensively, are expensive due to their specialized equipment, and must meet complex local, state, and federal regulations. The costs of this insurance are usually passed along to customers. However, since Medicare or Medicaid have less-than-flexible rates, medical transportation providers must do everything possible to control costs. As such, finding affordable insurance is simply not optional.

Filling out a non-emergency medical transportation insurance application is part of the necessary process that can allow medical transportation providers to determine how expensive their rates will be. Your rates will be impacted by various factors, including the age of the vehicle, cost, seating requirements, miles traveled, and more. 

Finding affordable insurance can be a critical factor in determining the overall financial solvency of a medical transportation organization. The financial stressors these groups are undergoing are extremely real: According to available statistics, 4 in 5 counties across the country have at least one area with zero EMS coverage. Financial factors - including the rising costs of insurance rates - are one of the many factors that have led to these challenges. 

As a result, many medical transportation companies have examined less comprehensive insurance options. While this reaction to financial pressures is certainly understandable, it leads to larger problems: The loss of a vehicle as a result of an accident may mean that the company in question is no longer able to provide their medical transportation services to patients, creating major gaps in the local healthcare system and leading to the ultimate decline of the business.

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance

There are many benefits to non-emergency medical transportation insurance. This includes:

  • Being able to purchase specific and customized coverage that can be tailored to fit the specific needs of your medical transportation agency.
  • Working with an organization with experience working in your industry allows you to avoid painful and time-consuming questions about who your business is and what you do.
  • Having access to experts who may be able to help you by finding additional products and services that can assist your business.

Like any other insurance product, there are limitations to the types of coverage that NEMT offers. Some limitations may be altered based on the type of insurance you purchase, including specific liability limitations. Depending on the insurance product you purchase — or are required to purchase — there may also be limitations on the Workers' Compensation and Umbrella Liability policy that you purchase. 

That being said, NEMT insurance requirements vary from state to state, and NEMT insurance in Florida may not be the same as NEMT insurance in California. Different states have different laws about what coverage is and isn't insurable. As such, when working on your NEMT insurance package, you will need to check with the relevant state agencies to ensure that the coverage you want to buy is both available in your state and meets all relevant criteria. 

Eligibility criteria for NEMT insurance also tend to vary, meaning that some vehicles may not be eligible to receive NEMT insurance. For example, NEMT insurance in NY is required for any medical transportation service, including ambulette, paratransit, or more. Specific NEMT insurance in Indiana is not necessarily required for all medical transportation vehicles. However, all NEMT insurance in Indiana must be sold by a specific list of pre-approved vendors.

Finally, you must understand the reimbursement process for your NEMT insurance, as different carriers may have different processes. Sometimes, you may be billed directly for any expenses and then required to submit the damages to your NEMT company for reimbursement. In other instances, the NEMT insurance company may pay your vendor directly. While this process may be more beneficial for cash flow purposes, it may also create challenges if there are disputes between what you are owed. Regardless, make sure you fully understand the reimbursement process before signing any NEMT insurance contract. 

NEMT Insurance Companies

There are a wide array of NEMT insurance companies available on the market today. You can find more information about these NEMT insurance companies by checking with NEMT insurance brokers. Like other insurance brokers, a NEMT insurance broker will work with you to identify specific NEMT policies, advise your business on the various positives and negatives of these policies, and ensure you pick a product that works for you. 

Working with NEMT insurance brokers has several positives. Brokers can:

  • Help you identify policies that best fit your needs, even if those policies exist across numerous companies.
  • Identify other benefits of these policies. For example, at MediRoutes, we offer a variety of other expense-saving and revenue-generating opportunities.
  • Assist you in filling out the NEMT insurance application. 
  • Provide you with additional information on each broker's non-emergency medical transportation insurance requirements. 
  • Ensure that the policy you purchase will meet the requirements of your local and state government. 

Remember that many types of insurance companies provide specific types of NEMT insurance or offer commercial alternatives. For example, Geico NEMT insurance isn't available, but GEICO does offer commercial auto insurance that may fit the needs of certain NEMT drivers. Other larger companies — including biBERK, Progressive, and General Star — offer specific NEMT insurance products. A look at their websites reveals that they all cover general liability, the costs of accidents, customizable deductible costs, and more.

The fact that there are numerous insurance companies actively engaged in this market can make life much easier for interested businesses. This increased competition ensures that costs are kept reasonably low and forces businesses to offer different solutions to meet your needs. You can find an NEMT insurance company that fits your needs by conducting comprehensive research or working with an insurance broker. 

Average Cost for NEMT Insurance

It is extremely difficult to identify the average cost for NEMT insurance, as the cost of the product and finding the cheapest NEMT insurance isn't just comparing different products. After all, cheap general liability insurance for NEMT businesses may mean you lose access to various other useful services.

That being said, the costs of NEMT insurance can range between $2,000 - $12,000 per vehicle. You may immediately ask, "Why is NEMT insurance so expensive?" Many factors drive the costs of this insurance product, including:

  • History: The driver history of your organization will come into play, and lower rates of accidents will likely mean reduced insurance costs. 
  • Location: Some areas can be more expensive for insurance than others. Location can impact the quality of the roads, use of the vehicles, and theft rates.
  • Type of coverage: NEMT companies can select different types of coverage and liability limits to meet their needs. By increasing the level of coverage, NEMT companies can ensure they have enough resources to cover their business in the event of any accident or loss. However, increasing limits or decreasing deductibles will increase the rates a business has to pay for its insurance.
  • Bundling opportunities: Many NEMT insurance products also offer additional forms of liability, including property or worker's compensation insurance. By bundling your insurance with other products, a NEMT business may achieve significant savings and ensure that it can use economies of scale to save money. If you are looking for a new NEMT insurance broker, you should also ask about other insurance opportunities. 
  • Vehicle insured: Newer, more expensive, and more technologically advanced vehicles will always be more expensive. Seating capacity and other equipment - like specialized medical equipment - will increase the costs of your vehicle. 

Monetizing your NEMT fleet and finding opportunities to save money can be challenging. At MediRoutes, we're here to help, and we offer a variety of ways to optimize your routes, provide detailed analytics, and more. Want more information? Contact us today to schedule a demo.

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