Consider your member, John. John has worked hard his whole life, and now retired, he gets about $2,000 each month from Social Security. He and his wife, Jane, now both over 70, live alone in a modest apartment outside the city. They are in pretty good health and expect to live a long time. On the downside, their vehicle no longer runs, they’re not close to public transportation, and taxis are too expensive for their limited income.
Because John’s income is too high to receive public housing, transportation, medical, and nutritional assistance, they rely on Social Security income for all of their needs. The problem is that, depending on where they live, their $2,000 may be well short of their minimum need. For example, according to the Elder Index™, in Miami-Dade County Florida, they are likely to need almost $2,900 per month. The cost of living in Essex County Massachusetts is even higher, almost $3,800 per month.
These types of economic conditions mean that your members may be forced to do things that detract from their health, and bypass things that would be good for them. That is, they may not be able to afford healthy foods, they may not prioritize physical fitness, and they may even put off seeing their doctor because of the financial barriers of getting there.
The fact is that social determinants of health such as these, have a profound effect on anyone’s health. An economically restricted situation and subsequent behaviors have four times more impact on one’s health and wellbeing than clinical care.
It’s not just John and Jane. According to the National Council on Aging, almost a quarter of elderly couples and one half of single people depend on Social Security for almost all their income. Unfortunately, the amount received by the 2.1 million elderly on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) doesn’t begin to make up the difference.
What can health plans do? While not solving the whole problem, plans could make a tremendous difference to John and Jane and countless others in offering access to reliable transportation to fitness classes, medical appointments, and even to pick up prescriptions.
Help is Available.
The good news is that for years, Alivi has been partnering with Medicare Advantage plans to provide tailored non-emergency transportation (NEMT) to members with varying trip needs. The results are impressive. By the end of 2019, Alivi had provided transportation for over 120,000 Medicare Advantage members and arranged over a million rides to medical appointments and fitness centers.
Over this time, Alivi has managed to bring NEMT to a high level of performance with our state-of-the-art logistics platform, working in tandem with our dedicated call center to continuously coordinate with our extensive network of highly trained and credentialed drivers.
What Alivi has done with our NEMT solution is to ensure getting patients to appointments and treatments on-time, all the time, whether pre-arranged or on-demand, ambulatory, assisted, wheelchair or stretcher. It means having drivers who care about the patients they transport, attending to their limitations and needs before, during, and after the ride. It means hospitals, physicians, and other providers wasting no time waiting for patients to show up.
Alivi is dedicated to keeping your members in good health by partnering with plans in providing top-quality transportation for those that that otherwise couldn’t afford it.
For more information on Alivi NEMT, please reach out to Manuel Leon, VP of business development at firstname.lastname@example.org