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Need Transportation To Medical Appointments? Your Taxi Fees May Be Covered If You Subscribe To Medicaid

Are you on Medicaid, yet not keeping up on your health because you don't have proper transportation to and from your medical appointments? Have you scheduled doctor visits only to have your beater car not start or a not-so-reliable friend or family member promise you a lift and then not show up? If so, then it's time you learn about section XIX of the Social Security Act and how it can help you secure safe, reliable rides to and from your medical appointments.

Good Health Starts With Good Transportation

Medicaid is largely managed by your state government, but each state has federal guidelines that they must follow. Under these guidelines, states must not only make medical care available to Medicaid participants, but they must also ensure that Medicaid participants have the ability to get to that care. If you can't get to your medical appointments, you can't maintain your health which completely defeats the purpose of the Medicaid system.

Reliable transportation is part of the foundation of your well-being. If you're on Medicaid and you don't have your own vehicle (or can't drive yourself), you're entitled to help, no matter what state you live in.

No, You Don't Need To Ride In An Ambulance

A lot of Medicaid participants are under the false assumption that Medicaid will only cover transportation via emergency vehicles. If you have a medical condition that requires the specialized equipment in an ambulance, then yes, you'll be transported via ambulance. If, however, you don't require an emergency vehicle, you can arrange for an ordinary taxi service to pick you up.

If you have special needs, specify them when setting up your ride. Many taxi agencies have handicapped-accessible vans for those with impaired mobility and drivers who are trained to provide you safe assistance in walking from your door to the vehicle. 

Your Doctor Decides What's Covered

In order for your transportation fees to be covered by Medicaid, they need to be medically-related. This includes any appointment that has been deemed necessary by your doctor, such as surgery aftercare, ongoing treatments, annual checkups, and prescription pick-ups.

If you are a senior citizen or disabled, ask your department of health if there are any programs available in your area to help you cover the cost of non-medical transportation. Many states fund programs to help elderly and disabled individuals remain active in their community. These programs often cover taxi services to any appointments not covered by Medicaid, including shopping trips, dinner outings, adult day services, or even to part-time jobs.

What You Should Know When Arranging Transportation By Taxi

In many states, you'll need to have Medicaid pre-approve taxi service to and from non-emergency medical appointments. Contact your state's health department to find out whether or not you'll need pre-approval. Oftentimes, a state will approve a certain amount of rides over a specified period of time. For example, you may be granted ten one-way trips per month of no more than 30 miles in distance each.

Usually, the department of health will provide you with a phone number to a transportation broker. This transportation broker will ask you a series of questions about your transportation needs and then contact a taxi service and arrange your ride(s) for you. If there is more than one Medicaid-approved taxi service in your area, the transportation broker will usually rotate companies unless you otherwise specify that you prefer a particular taxi agency.

Depending on what state you live in, you may or may not be required to pay your taxi driver a copay. Any charges beside your copay will be billed directly to your state.

Under federal regulations, any Medicaid subscriber is entitled to free of low-cost taxi service to and from their necessary medical appointments. Don't miss another doctor visit. Call your state's department of health today, continue reading more about this topic, and find out how to stay up-to-date on your health by arranging Medicaid-covered taxi service.