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Plan ahead for non-emergency Medicaid transportation coverage

Florida residents eligible for Medicaid benefits may receive transportation services for non-emergency medical care. Approximately 80% of the Sunshine State’s Medicaid recipients use transportation benefits, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times. Medicaid benefits also include the cost of an emergency ambulance ride or a helicopter flight to a hospital when eligible individuals require immediate assistance for a life-threatening incident.

Additionally, he or she does not need to seek approval to receive transportation benefits before summoning assistance. For a ride to and from a non-emergency medical appointment, however, an individual must request transportation in advance from a Medicaid-approved provider.

Non-emergency medical transportation provisions 

An individual’s health, disability or personal circumstances may affect his or her ability to show up for medical appointments. Not having a vehicle or lacking funds to contract a taxi or ride-share service for a medical appointment may provide ample proof that Medicaid non-emergency transportation benefits are in order.

The type of non-emergency transportation an individual receives may include a van or wheelchair-equipped vehicle that could provide pick-up and drop-off at a patient’s home. A beneficiary must first obtain approval from Medicaid before calling for a ride, and the transportation provider must be under contract with a Medicaid-managed care plan.

Preventing transportation issues and other problems

Once Medicaid approves a beneficiary’s ride request, calling the transportation provider at least three days in advance may help reduce scheduling issues. As reported by WFLA-TV’s investigation team, some individuals have experienced problems with their rides not showing up on time for a pickup. Asking a friend or relative if they can be available as a backup could be a wise idea.

Obtaining Medicaid benefits of any type requires an understanding of how the program works. A Medicaid patient’s assets and living arrangements may affect eligibility. Overall, planning may help ensure that the required transportation and patient services are available when needed.