Truth be told, there is no direct answer to this question because every state maintains its regulations and operational rules. Therefore, you should consult your local healthcare services department and the Department of Driver Services when looking to offer NEMT services.
NEMT businesses are known to make available ground transportation or shuttle service to people who require help going to and from their medical appointments. NEMT businesses tend to function as independent driver-providers (IDPs) under different service models depending on the state.
Have it in mind that NEMT is a daunting but profitable business because the need for convenient and safe transportation for people with health issues is growing at encouraging rates. In addition, Medicaid and Medicare insurance plans cover proper transportation to hospitals, rehab, pharmacies, etc. for low-income population categories or those who live in rural areas.
If you are new to the NEMT business, the very first step is to put together your legal documents, license, various certificates, and permits. But then have it in mind that there is no formal licensing required to start and run a NEMT company (aside from maybe a driver’s license).
Although laws still vary by state, there are several documents that most providers will need before signing on an employee including the number of points on their driver’s license, transport insurance, an overview of the driver’s health, a negative drug test, and a background check.
What Type of Licenses is Needed to Open a NEMT Business?
Have it in mind that the first legal requirement you’ll need to meet when starting a NEMT business is to select the best business structure for your company. Note that you can choose between forming an LLC or a corporation. Each one comes with its unique advantages and disadvantages; therefore do your research before selecting a business structure for your startup.
Just like any other business owner, NEMT providers need a business license. This license will surely vary depending on what state you’re operating in, therefore it’s advisable to check your state requirements on how to obtain this license. Some states like Illinois have separate licensing requirements to operate as a medical carrier or a medical transportation service.
You should also note that a good driving record is very paramount, with minimal tickets and accidents. You will also be expected to pass a background check and maybe obtain certain medical clearances. In addition, the ability to lift to 50 pounds will be helpful since you will be working with individuals who may need assistance getting into and out of the vehicle.
Federal Tax ID Number
Your federal tax identification number is also referred to as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and it allows you to legally hire employees, pay federal taxes, apply for business licenses and open a business bank account. In the United States, you can easily apply for an EIN via the IRS website. Also, note that your NEMT business will need an EIN if you plan on doing any of the following:
- Hiring and paying employees
- Filing employer tax returns
- Operating as a corporation
- Using a tax-deferred pension plan
Drivers or Chauffeurs License
Note that this will depend on your state requirements and the vehicle you intend to use for your medical transportation services. However, if your state needs you to get this license, then you need to meet the minimum requirements in your state.
Most often, you are expected to be over the age of 16 although your state may require an older age. However, you must check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that you meet the age requirement.
National Provider Identifier (NPI)
Have it in mind that every healthcare provider that offers services in the Medicare and Medicaid system is mandated, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), to obtain an NPI. For the most efficient application processing and the fastest receipt of NPIs, consider the web-based application process. You just need to log into the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) and apply online.
Although not a business license, as a future provider in this line of mind, it is imperative you consider adequate insurance. When putting together an insurance plan for your business, aside from your transport, it is very imperative that you also ensure all goods that will be carried from one place to another.
Even though all-in-one insurance can be quite exorbitant, it offers peace of mind to your drivers and passengers. It also gives you confidence that any damage due to adverse road conditions or accidents will be covered. This way, you and your passengers won’t bear any loss.