Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT): Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible to receive transportation to my Medicaid medical appointments?
You may be eligible for transportation to your medical appointments if you have a current Medical Assistance Identification Card that you use to pay for healthcare services and you have no way to get to and from your healthcare appointments. Please telephone our Call Center to see if you are eligible for transportation services. Our trained Call Center staff will gather some information from you and determine if you are eligibile for the program.
How can I reach the Call Center?
You can reach the Call Center by telephoning (509) 534-9760 or (800) 892-4817 (toll free).
If you are hearing-impaired, please call: (509) 534-8566 or (800) 821-7167 (toll free).
Our fax number is (509) 534-6980 and (888) 829-9915 (toll free).
What if I have not gotten my Medical Assistance Identification Card yet?
Call Center staff may be able to confirm your eligibility for Medicaid transportation in other ways. Please contact the Call Center to find out.
What types of transportation are available?
We will arrange transportation that meets any special transportation needs you may have and is the least costly means to get you to your medical appointment. This could include public bus, fuel voucher or mileage reimbursement, volunteer driver, commercial or nonprofit provider (e.g. taxi, Dial-a-Ride van, etc.), cabulance, and intercity bus or train. Please be aware that you may be asked to share a ride with other passengers.
What medical services are eligible for this transportation program?
Generally, any medical services that are paid for by your Medicaid program are eligible for transportation. There are some exceptions:
● Transportation is available only to a "local medical provider of type." This means that if a qualified, local medical provider is available in your community, we cannot give you transportation to a provider in another community.
● Some categories of Medicaid eligibility do not qualify, or only qualify partially, for transportation services. Our Call Center staff can talk to you about your specific situation.
What if I need to cancel my ride?
Please contact us as soon as possible. If the Call Center is closed, please leave a message so that we'll get it on the next business day.
What if my medical appointment is outside of my local community?
If your medical service is not avaliable in your local community, Call Center staff may be able to arrange transportation for you to another location. Any out-of-area referrals must be pre-authorized by your primary care physician (PCP) and may also require approval from DSHS. Call Center staff will provide a referral form for your PCP to complete for you. This completed form must be received by the Call Center at least 2 working days in advance of your appointment to assure that transportation for you will be avaliable.
When can I call the Call Center?
Our Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. It is closed on weekends and the following holidays :
● New Year's Day ● Memorial Day ● Independence Day ● Labor Day ● Thanksgiving Day (and day after Thanksgiving) ● Christmas Day
(Please note that observed holidays may fall on a different day from the actual holiday)
When the Call Center is closed, you can leave a message on our voice mail and our staff will call you back on the next business day.
Sometimes, you may find that you need to see a doctor and our Call Center is closed. We have an answering service that can help you with after-hours transportation needs. To reach the answering service, telphone our Call Center and our voice mail system will provide a link to the answering service.
How can I become a Medicaid transportation provider or volunteer?
Special Mobility Services works with a variety of transportation providers in delivering Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) services. Providers include Public Transit systems, Fuel Voucher vendors, Commercial Providers (Taxi, Cabulance, etc.), Nonprofit Organizations, Intercity Bus and Rail, etc.
In addition, SMS works with organizations that provide volunteer drivers and vehicles to transport Medicaid clients. We are always looking for organizations with experience providing community transportation services using volunteers. Please contact our Regional Manager at (509) 534-9760 or (800) 892-4817 if you think your organization would be interested in providing transportation for the Medicaid program.
SMS also directly manages a small number of volunteers who drive for the Medicaid transportation program and are reimbursed on a mileage basis. If you have an excellent driving record, a safe and reliable vehicle, and a desire to help, please contact us at (509) 534-9760 or (800) 892-4817.