Insurance frequently dominates any conversation about the obstacles people face when trying to access healthcare. But there are other, equally-significant issues to consider.
For example, 3.6 million Americans miss doctors appointments or delay medical care every year because of inadequate transportation.
Fortunately, this is a problem the gig economy is well-suited to solve.
In response to this crisis, Uber has launched Uber Health to take steps towards righting this wrong.
This is not only good news for those in need of a ride to the doctor, but it’s also good news for doctors. Because of Uber Health, they get to offer a new service and make sure their patients are taken care of.
Also, this is yet another way for people interested in the gig economy to make money. Plus, you get to help people – what’s a better gig than that?
If you’re interested in learning more, below is a complete guide to everything you need to know about Uber Health.
- What is Uber Health?
- Uber Health for Drivers
- Who Can Use Uber Health?
- The Benefits of Uber Health
- How Much Can Uber Health Drivers Make?
- Special Considerations
- Uber Health FAQs
What is Uber Health?
Uber Health is a service offered by Uber to help people who do not have access to reliable transportation get rides to and from their doctor’s office.[su_note note_color=”#ffbf40″]One thing we want to make perfectly clear: Medical providers (like doctors’ offices) sign up to use Uber Health, NOT patients. The doctors’ offices schedule rides for patients and they are picked up by regular Uber drivers. This is not medical transport like an ambulance, it is basic transportation to and from scheduled medical appointments.[/su_note]
It operates using Uber drivers who sign up to be an Uber Health driver. But beyond that, Uber Health is entirely different than the standard rideshare component of Uber.
The primary difference is that with Uber Health, doctors offer rides as an additional service. So if you go to the doctor and make an appointment, they will ask you if you need a ride to your next appointment and then schedule the ride for you.
The person being driven does not pay anything. All charges are sent to the doctor, and while they come through daily, they do not need to be paid until a bill is issued at the beginning of each month.
To help make the service more accessible, Uber is allowing this service to be used without a smartphone. It operates through text message, and it can even be set up to work through a landline.
When the doctor schedules a ride, the patient will get a text or a call to confirm the time. They’ll receive another text or call when the driver arrives to pick them up as well.
Uber Health for Drivers
For users, Uber Health is much different than the standard, ride-hailing Uber. Individual users can’t use Uber Health – only doctors can.
However, for drivers, things are pretty similar. If you agree to participate in Uber Health, you will receive a notification for a ride. It will tell you how much you stand to make, and you will have the option to accept or decline.
The only thing that is different is that the drop off point will be a medical facility.
You may also need to provide some assistance to people. Some patients may require more space in the car, they may need help carrying things, or getting in and out of the vehicle.
As a result, make sure you feel comfortable doing these types of tasks before deciding to work for Uber Health.
The requirements are the same as driving for Uber, so we’re going to go over the requirements for becoming an Uber driver.
First, you must:
- Be old enough to drive in the city in which you live
- Have at least one year of experience driving, but if you’re under 23, you must have at least three.
- Possess a current driver’s license
- Own and use a 4-door vehicle that meets Uber’s conditions
If you meet these requirements, then you will need to submit some documentation to keep the process moving forward.
You must send in:
- A copy of your current license
- Proof of residency in your city, state or province
- Proof of auto insurance if you’re planning on driving your car
- A photo for your Driver membership profile
Once you’ve done all of this, there’s nothing left to do except wait. Uber will review all of your documents, and they will run a background check to see if you have any previous driving penalties.
You will be contacted once you have been approved, and then you will be all set to start driving.
At this point, you will be a registered Uber driver and can start receiving Uber Health ride requests.
Who Can Use Uber Health?
Anyone can use Uber Health as long as it’s available at your doctor’s office.
Doctors sign up for the service (not patients), which gives them access to the Uber Health Dashboard. This is how they will schedule Uber rides for their patients.
So if you are in regular need for transportation to and from your medical appointments, ask your doctor if they offer Uber Health.
Doctors offices may ask patients to refrain from using the service if they already have their transportation, however, this is entirely at their discretion.
The Benefits of Uber Health
There are many reasons why it makes sense to work with Uber Health.
As a driver, it’s convenient because it allows you to plan out rides in advance. Rides are typically scheduled when an appointment is made, or in the few days leading up to it, and this gives you the chance to prepare.
When driving for Uber or any other rideshare service, you don’t always have that option. You need to log in and see what’s available before you know how much you’ll be able to work.
Uber Health also gives you the chance to drive for a good cause. While there’s certainly satisfaction in helping someone get to their date or arrive at the airport on time, there’s another level of pride involved with helping someone get to an appointment when the alternative might have been avoiding or delaying the medical care they need.
For doctors, the benefits are numerous. Not only can they provide a convenient service to their patients without having to over-complicate their practice, but they can also help make sure patients get to their medical appointments on time (or don’t miss them).
This helps because it reduces the possibility that necessary treatment gets delayed, and it also helps to keep doctors on time, reducing waiting times and improving patient satisfaction.
Lastly, for patients, the benefit is obvious: No more worrying about getting to medical appointments. Someone will pick you up and make sure you get to wherever you need to be.
How Much Can You Make Driving For Uber Health?
As with many gig economy jobs, it’s difficult to provide an accurate estimate of how much money you are going to make. This is mainly because how much you earn depends on how much you are willing and able to work, and also on the type of work you do. Longer Uber rides are worth more than shorter ones.
And since Uber Health is not much different for drivers, the amount you earn with Uber Health is the same you would earn with regular Uber.
To help you get an idea, though, know that Uber takes a 25 percent commission from each fare you receive. However, there are other fees involved that are charged to the rider that you as a driver will never see.
The company has long said that drivers can make around $25/hour driving, but it’s important to note these are gross earnings. It does not account for the money you spend on fuel, car maintenance, etc.
However, if you live in a busy city, then chances are you will still be able to make a decent amount of money driving for Uber. But we must never forget the best part about doing these types of jobs: You decide how much or how little you want to work.
When it comes to Uber Health, though, things are even more complicated to estimate. This is due to the number of medical practices and healthcare organizations that use Uber Health in your area.
You will naturally get fewer rides, however, working exclusively for Uber Health, as it’s more of a niche service than general rideshare. But, again, this will depend on the area where you’re working.
Special Considerations With Uber Health
Since Uber Health is effectively part of the healthcare industry, there are some special circumstances involved.
For example, whenever someone’s health is concerned, there are privacy laws, known as HIPAA.
To resolve this issue, Uber Health was designed under the watchful eye of a HIPAA consultancy.
Part of this means that Uber will sign a Business Associate Agreement with any medical practice that requires it, which would be any practice that’s also hoping to maintain its HIPAA-compliant status.
This document outlines the nature of the business arrangement and binds Uber to maintain HIPAA privacy laws.
Doing this means that Uber must guarantee that any patient information it collects will be stored using privacy and security standards that are HIPAA-compliant.
Furthermore, it agreed only to release the name of the patient, the pickup and drop off time, and collection point and drop off location, and nothing else, to drivers.
It’s important to remember this as a driver because it forbids you from inquiring about riders’ personal information. Normally this isn’t a problem, but it’s not uncommon for drivers to talk to passengers, and in this case, some topics are strictly off limits.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, this guide has helped resolve any questions you may have had about Uber Health, but if you want to learn more, here are some of the more common questions people have:
How Do I Use Uber Health As A Driver?
Once approved as an Uber driver, make yourself available for Uber Health by updating your account settings.
When a ride is available, you will receive a notification asking you to accept or decline. If one day you decide to stop driving for Uber Health, then you can change your setting and return to driving normal fares.
What Do I Need to Do Sign Up For Uber Health?
If you’re a patient, you don’t have to do anything! If you’re a doctor, you need to contact Uber here, and if you’re a driver, you need to change your account preferences to make yourself available to drive for Uber Health.
How Can I Become An Uber Driver?
You need to meet all the requirements, and you also need to submit some documentation. Uber will contact you to confirm your application and get you started as a driver.
Do I Need Insurance?
Uber will provide commercial insurance should you cause any damage to properties or individuals while driving for them. You will be covered for $50,000 per person/$100,000 for injuries, and you will be covered for up to $25,000 in property damage.
You will also be covered for up to $1,000,000 for third parties, i.e., those who may have been injured in an accident you cause while driving for Uber.
Additional coverage is also provided in the event you are hurt while driving. For example, you could receive disability payments up to $500 per week depending on your earnings, coverage of medical bills up to $1,000,000, and $150,000 in survivor benefits to your family should the worst happen while you’re driving, although we hope this never to be the case.
However, you need to have an insurance policy on your car before you can be approved as an Uber Driver, and none of this coverage applies when you’re disconnected from the app.
So if you’re connected, make sure you’re working, and if you’re working, make sure you’re connected.
How Much Money Can I Make?
This depends on demand in your area and also on how much you are willing to work, although Uber estimates gross hourly wages to be around $25.
Uber Health is an innovative solution to an oft-ignored issue regarding access to healthcare: Transportation.
It’s also helping to improve healthcare by reducing no-shows and helping people get the medical care they need. The lack of reliable rides available to the public is an issue that Uber is set on helping solve.
Driving for Uber Health can be a great way to make some extra money while working for a good cause. So if you’re in the mood for a new job, consider driving for Uber and Uber Health.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.