Carpool continues on 1 September 2022 for customers using Kela taxi.
Ridesharing was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Extensive COVID-19 restrictions have now been largely lifted. As part of this relief, ride sharing for customers using Kela taxi will continue in September. This means that customers traveling to or from a healthcare provider can share a ride with other customers.
Taxis are used in more than half of Kela’s reimbursed healthcare-related trips. Ridesharing, where customers traveling at the same time and in the same direction share a ride, is an effective way to curb the rise in transportation costs.
Trip sharing also applies to customers who have the right to use a familiar taxi driver. However, ridesharing is not used if the healthcare provider has deemed it impossible for the client’s health. Ride sharing is also not used for customers who, when booking a ride, declare that they are infected with COVID-19 or are traveling for COVID-19 testing.
Kela-reimbursed taxi services must be booked at the regional brokerage center well in advance – if possible, at least one day before the travel date. Each region has two contract service providers. Customers can choose which they want to book a taxi to.
Who has the right to use Kela’s taxi?
Kela reimburses part of the trips to the healthcare provider in connection with treatment, pregnancy or childbirth. Reimbursements are also available for travel expenses to the COVID-19 vaccination or testing site.
Trips are usually reimbursed based on the cheapest price. Customers can receive compensation for using a taxi if they cannot use public transport for health reasons or if public transport is not available. A customer using a taxi for health reasons needs a certificate issued by a healthcare provider.
Last year, Kela paid compensation for approximately 3.5 million taxi trips to 410,000 people. The total compensation bill was 193 million euros.