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Transportation for Medicaid Recipients in New York

Getting around for medical needs can be tough, especially if you don’t have reliable transportation. In fact, 5.8 million people in the U.S. actually delayed their medical care due to lack of transportation. 

This delay can lead to worsening health and increased stress. But if you live in NYC and have Medicaid, you have options that can alleviate this challenge. 

This post will teach you how to use Medicaid’s free transportation services, including who can use them, how to get a ride, and smart tips to manage your trips efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • New York’s Medicaid Transportation Program offers free non-emergency medical transportation.
  • You can contact the Medicaid Answering Service (MAS) with your appointment details to arrange free transportation.
  • There are no out-of-pocket costs for these services. Also, recipients who use their own vehicle can qualify for mileage reimbursement.

What Is the Medicaid Transportation Program? 

medicaid recipient

The Medicaid Transportation Program is a crucial service provided to Medicaid enrollees. It enables them to attend medical appointments and get medical care without financial worry. 

This program covers the cost of various transportation methods, ensuring that lack of transportation is not a barrier to receiving needed healthcare.

You can access this program in New York City using Medical Answering Services (MAS). They are responsible for assigning and coordinating medical transport services for Medicaid recipients in NYC.

Transportation for Every Medicaid Need

MAS arranges non-emergency transportation based on each enrollee’s mobility, medical needs, and New York State Department of Health requirements. 

When a service request is made online or by phone, the best (and most cost-effective) transportation method is chosen.

The available modes of transportation include:

  • Private Vehicle: Get reimbursed for mileage and expenses when using your own car.
  • Public Transit: Receive passes or fare reimbursement for buses and subways.
  • Taxi: For those needing a taxi service due to medical needs. Requires a doctor’s note.
  • Ambulette: For the wheelchair-bound or those needing a stretcher.
  • Ambulance: For non-emergency medical transport when necessary.
  • Train/Bus: For long-distance medical trips to regional centers.
  • Air Travel: For extra-distant specialty care.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure Medicaid enrollees can easily get to their appointments, so transportation isn’t a barrier to healthcare. For those lacking access to home care services, these transport options are vital.

How to Schedule Services

Using Medicaid transportation in New York is pretty straightforward. Here’s how to schedule your free transportation services:

  1. Register for a MAS account or call them at these phone numbers.
  2. Provide your appointment details, including location, date, time, and purpose of the visit.
  3. MAS will arrange suitable transportation, such as a taxi or bus, based on your needs.

And that’s all it takes to request transportation services – free of charge! You can then enjoy a pleasant journey to your medical providers without worrying about the cost. 

Tips for Using Medicaid Transportation Services

To ensure prompt service and avoid any issues, follow these guidelines for scheduling your Medicaid transportation:

  • Urgent/Sick Visits: Book the same day.
  • Routine Appointments: Book at least three days in advance.
  • Public Transit: Book at least five days in advance to receive transit passes by mail.
  • Long-Distance Travel: Book at least seven days in advance.

Finally, if you need to cancel or reschedule, always notify MAS as soon as possible. This way, other enrollees can use the transportation slot.

Are There Any Out-of-Pocket Costs? 

No, there are no out-of-pocket costs for using Medicaid transport services. Also, if you prefer to use a personal vehicle, you can get a mileage reimbursement by setting up a “prior approved” appointment in advance. 

This is the same as setting up an appointment for separate transport. But it’s aimed at compensating you for using your own vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I set up transportation for my appointment?

You can set up non-emergency Medicaid transportation in two ways:

  • Create an account and arrange the trip online through the Medical Answering Services (MAS) website.
  • Call the MAS Contact Center to schedule your transportation.

Does MAS arrange Medicaid transportation throughout New York State?

Yes, MAS provides coverage throughout the entire state of New York, including Brooklyn, Nassau, Queens, Suffolk County, and more. However, you may need to schedule services in advance if you reside in a rural or underserved area. The further your medical appointment is, the more notice you will need to give.

Do enrollees need to pay for transportation to Medicaid-covered healthcare services?

No, transportation to authorized healthcare services is provided at no cost to enrollees. Transportation providers (aside from public transit) should never request or expect direct payment from an enrollee.

How do I know what transportation level to use when setting up an appointment?

MAS will decide the best transportation for you based on your mobility, medical needs, and NYS Department of Health rules. For example, if you need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or ambulance for medical reasons, MAS will approve it. But if you can move around well, you might be set up with a taxi or other public transportation instead. 

So be sure to give complete and accurate details when scheduling your ride to get the right service.

What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my ride?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your ride, contact Medical Answering Services (MAS) as soon as possible, ideally with at least 24 hours notice.

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