Medicare Advantage Transportation Benefit

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Transportation Services?

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  • Some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for non-emergency transportation services.
  • Original Medicare covers only ambulance services and limited non-emergency transportation requested by your doctor.
  • Both Lyft and Uber coordinate with many health-care companies to offer covered rides to and from medical appointments.

Aside from ambulance services covered under Part B, Original Medicare does not usually pay for transportation to and from the doctor. Many seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries who no longer drive opt for a Medicare Advantage plan with a transportation benefit. The exact transportation benefits vary between plans, but you may be eligible for free rides to and from your doctor, hospital, or specialist.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how the Medicare Advantage transportation benefit works and help you find other transportation resources outside of Medicare.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Transportation?

Both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans cover ambulance services under Medicare Part B. If your doctor provides a written order declaring that non-emergency transportation is medically necessary for you, Medicare may cover the cost as well. In the vast majority of cases, however, non-emergency transportation is not covered under Parts A or B.1

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Medicare will only cover ambulance transportation to the nearest medical facility that can treat your immediate needs.

If you want coverage for non-emergency transportation, you may want to choose a Medicare Advantage plan that includes transportation as a separate benefit. The type of transportation coverage varies from one carrier or plan to the next. Some plans may offer a limited number of trips to your doctor or clinic per year. Generally, a trip constitutes each ride to and from the doctor, so one doctor’s visit may consume two of your available trips for the year. Some plans offer unlimited rides to and from your primary-care physician, while other plans cover the cost of taking an Uber or Lyft.

Not every type of transportation will be eligible for coverage under your plan, even if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan with transportation benefits. Some plans will cover only non-emergency visits to your primary-care physician, while others may expand coverage for trips to the hospital, clinics, specialists, and even fitness centers. If you have an HMO or a similar plan that limits your coverage to in-network care, your transportation will likely not be covered if you need to go out of network.


FYI: You may be able to access out-of-network transportation coverage with a Medicare Advantage PPO plan that includes a transportation benefit.

Since each plan or carrier offers different levels of coverage, the process for arranging a ride may differ as well. In most cases, you will be responsible for arranging your own transportation. To ensure your ride is covered by Medicare, you may be required to schedule it hours or even days in advance.

If you’re currently looking for a Medicare Part C plan with a transportation benefit, check out’s Medicare Advantage recommendations.

Lyft Transportation for Medicare Beneficiaries

To help make transportation easier for Medicare beneficiaries, Lyft launched the Lyft Pass for Healthcare program in 2021. It allows eligible beneficiaries to request Lyft rides to and from appointments as needed, without having to schedule them far in advance. As long as your Medicare Advantage plan (or comparable non-Medicare health plan) covers non-emergency transportation, you can get instant access to medical transportation that’s covered by your health-care plan.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? The Lyft Up program helps provide free and low-cost transportation to people in underserved communities who may not otherwise have access to affordable transportation options.2

Lyft attempts to balance the benefits for both health-plan carriers and beneficiaries. The program gives you more flexibility when arranging a ride to and from doctor appointments, but it also gives the carrier greater control over the specifics of your trip. Lyft shares data through the app so your Medicare Advantage carrier can set the maximum covered cost per ride, approve pickup and drop-off locations, and notify you about which rides are and are not covered via the Lyft Pass. It limits the control you have over your transportation options, but it also ensures that you won’t accidentally arrange a ride that isn’t covered by your insurance.

Uber Transportation for Medicare Beneficiaries

In 2018, Uber launched Uber Health, a program to provide covered rides to people with health-care plans that include transportation benefits. The service has since expanded to include same-day prescription drug delivery. Uber Health is similar to Lyft Pass for Healthcare, but with Uber Health, a care coordinator is generally given the responsibility of arranging a ride on your behalf.3 That may not be ideal if you prefer to manage your own transportation, but it is still one of the simplest ways to ensure you have a ride covered by your Medicare Advantage plan.

What Other Non-Medicare Transportation Options Are Available?

Even if your Medicare Advantage plan does not cover transportation costs, you can often find other free and affordable options in your area. Below are a few non-Medicare transportation solutions to consider.

  • Public transit: Public transportation, including buses and trains, are often some of the most affordable ways for Medicare beneficiaries to get around. If you live in a rural or suburban area without public transportation, you’ll need to find a different way to get to your appointments. Public transit is not always ideal for people with disabilities or mobility issues, since some transit systems don’t offer adequate accommodations and services.
  • Local ride programs: Many public and private organizations offer free or low-cost ride-sharing services for older adults and others in need of assistance. You can often learn more about local ride programs and transportation opportunities by contacting churches, charities, or senior centers in your area.
  • Retirement community transportation: If you reside in an independent living, assisted living, or similar retirement community, you may have access to free transportation for medical appointments. Many communities even offer transportation for shopping, entertainment, and group outings.
  • Transportation for veterans: Military veterans may be eligible for the Veterans Transportation Service provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Depending on your location, the Veterans Transportation Service can help transport you to and from VA health-care facilities free of charge.4
  1. (2023). Ambulance services.

  2. Lyft. (2023). Transportation for all.

  3. Uber Health. (2023). Home page.

  4. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. (2019, May 17). Veterans Transportation Service (VTS).

Written By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
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