Many people enrolled in Medicaid need transportation to and from doctors’ appointments for health care services, but they don’t have any other way to get there. Medicaid pays for nonemergency medical transportation, or NEMT, through brokers that arrange and pay for trips for eligible patients. In some states, there are small co-pays or fees for the rides, but most of the costs are covered by the state.
In Georgia, the NEMT program is run by two large brokers: Modivcare and Southeastrans. Both have received thousands of complaints that their drivers are late or don’t show up. The companies have responded by saying that most of the complaints are invalid, and that some of them come from people who have multiple doctor visits and don’t keep track of when they’re supposed to be picked up.
The NEMT system is for people whose medical needs require them to travel at least three days in advance of their appointment. Most transportation is shared ride, and the person may be riding with other Medicaid members going to their destination. One adult escort can accompany the member to help with mobility or safety issues on the trip, but this must be requested when calling for transportation.
NEMT is available to all Medicaid-enrolled beneficiaries who have no other transportation options and need assistance with getting to and from Medicaid-billable medical appointments. Members must call the correct broker for their county to request transportation at least three business days in advance of the appointment.