Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (SNEMT): What You Need to Know

Senior Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (SNEMT): What You Need to Know

When a person turns 50, they should get a medical checkup at least once every year. The frequency increases with age and when they are diagnosed with age-related diseases.

But many seniors can no longer drive or need help with using public transportation. They need senior non-emergency medical transportation (SNEMT). 


Understanding Senior Non-emergency Medical Transportation (SNEMT)

SNEMT provides transportation to senior citizens who need low-cost vehicles to bring them to their essential health-related appointments. It’s not a commonly used term yet, but in Orange County (CA) there is even a SNEMT program. 

SNEMT covers the following:

  • Medical appointments
  • Dentist procedures
  • Therapy sessions
  • Exercise programs
  • Laboratory appointments
  • Adult day program travels
  • Other health-related programs

How much does non-emergency medical transportation cost? It varies. Here are the factors that affect the rates:

  • Location
  • Mode of transport
  • Type of patient
  • Private pay vs. Medicaid
  • Required assistance
  • Time of day
  • Mileage
  • Wait time

Most NEMT businesses set a base pay. It is usually at least $25 on weekdays. It increases based on the factors mentioned above. 

Transport providers have to justify the NEMT rates because the competition is tough and brokers often have their fixed rates they are paying. 

The rates must be affordable—while SMENT is for non-emergency cases, seniors are among the most well-protected sectors the society and at the same time very often they don’t have good sources of income to afford expensive rides. 

Who pays for non-emergency medical transportation? Medicaid covers NEMT for seniors and persons with disabilities. As long as the elderly are enrolled in Medicaid, they can benefit from SNEMT without spending too much.

Some local governments, in partnership with non-profit organizations, also pay for SMENT so that those in need can call for the service for free. 

The Importance of SNEMT for Elderly Patients

The Importance of SNEMT for Elderly PatientsThe importance of SNEMT is providing convenient transportation to all older adults who need to go to their medical appointments. 

Healthcare Access for Those With Mobility Issues

Many elderly people have mobility issues and chronic conditions. Even those who have complete motor function may have difficulty driving themselves. They would fare badly using public transportation, especially during peak hours when dozens of others crowd certain areas. 

Many seniors need the aid of walkers and wheelchairs to get around. Public transport is even more tough to navigate for them. Plus, some of them have vision or hearing problems that limit their mobility and ability to communicate. 

However, their healthcare needs remain the same. They still require regular checkups and treatments. 

Sense of Independence

If seniors were in a nursing facility, none of this would be a problem. The facility could take care of all their needs—from their checkups to their medications. 

However, many seniors want to stay at home. It gives them a sense of independence. They can live in a neighborhood they are familiar with and comfortable in. Moreover, they can see their friends whenever they want. 

SNEMT allows older adults to keep up with their medical and healthcare appointments without fail while continuing to live at home. 

Safe Transport

SNEMT, like NEMT in general, covers safety protocols. Drivers are well-trained and have healthcare expertise. The driver can properly assist the elderly from pickup to drop-off and with all their needs during the trip. 

NEMT providers also send the appropriate vehicles in case the passenger travels with a walker, wheelchair, stretcher, oxygen tank, or requires other specialized equipment. 

Moreover, NEMT has a tech component. NEMT providers have software that can monitor the vehicle's whereabouts while also giving the driver the best schedule to make sure there are no trips missed and all load/unload, wait times are included. 

Such technology greatly helps senior citizens with their medical needs. 

Benefits of Using SNEMT Services for Senior Patients

Benefits of Using SNEMT Services for Senior PatientsSenior citizens are vulnerable members of society. Safe and efficient transportation is a big part of their essential needs. 

Here are the benefits of SNEMT:

Seniors Get to Their Appointments on Time

SNEMT is equipped with modern SNEMT software like RouteGenie, where providers can monitor all vehicle locations, create efficient schedules, provide passengers with accurate arrival time. The SNEMT passenger app can help passengers manage their trips, see driver location and rate the riden after completion. 

Medical appointments are crucial for the elderly, and timely arrivals ensure they get the care they need as soon as they get to the facility. Not getting into their scheduled appointment could be detrimental to their health. 

Seniors Travel Safely

NEMT drivers are trained in healthcare settings. Before the passenger is picked up, the transport provider already has their details: do they have hearing or vision problems? Do they travel with any medical equipment? Do they use a mobility device? Is the ettendant required for this ride?

Armed with this information, the driver can provide comfortable and efficient service. The driver can also ask the right questions to ensure the patient is comfortable during the trip. 

SNEMT Provides Door-to-Door Service and Beyond

Unlike taxi services and public transportation, SNEMT staff can help patients from the moment they leave their homes and arrive at their medical appointments. 

SNEMT Drivers and Staff Can Help in Emergencies

SNEMT, as the name implies, is for non-emergency situations. But you don’t know when a medical emergency may arise. In most companies drivers and staff can provide basic emergency care like CPR or first aid. 

With robust transport software, the SNEMT provider can reroute the vehicle to the nearest hospital for the appropriate emergency medical support. 

The Future of SNEMT: Innovations and Advancements in Senior Transportation Services

What can we expect from SNEMT in the future?

Hopefully, SNEMT will evolve to cover the elderly’s needs beyond healthcare. Seniors need time with their families, do their groceries, and shop for themselves. SNEMT has the potential to improve their overall well-being. 

Technology is also ever-changing. One can expect switching to RouteGenie - a better and smarter software for SNEMT to provide better transportation services for seniors while adapting to the growing demand. 

Cloud-based NEMT software must integrate with other applications and third-party providers to monitor and dispatch SNEMT fleets, get rides from brokers and facilities, accept credit card payments, etc. 

RouteGenie already has all the necessary elements of NEMT software that would improve the scheduling system, routing, dispatching, and billing services for providers, and integration with major NEMT brokers allows them to work seamlessly without leaving the RouteGenie interface. 


SNEMT is an essential service for seniors who need assistance in their everyday activities. To provide a safe and convenient mode of transportation to those who need it, SNEMT providers must have efficient software. 

RouteGenie optimizes scheduling, routing, and dispatching processes to maximize efficiency for SNEMT companies. Enjoy your RouteGenie personalized demo here.

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About the author

Yurii Martynov
Yurii Martynov

As RouteGenie's Marketing Director, Yurii gained deep knowledge in the NEMT industry. He is an expert in marketing, utilizing all marketing channels to build RouteGenie's brand and to make sure NEMT providers have access to powerful NEMT software that can boost their growth. Yurii shares his knowledge by writing content on topics related to marketing, and the healthcare industry: medical transportation, home care, and medical billing.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.