How to Get Free Transportation to the Doctor

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Art: Robin Mead

“My local paratransit program will take you anywhere (even all the way to the airport) for $3. You have to call a few days ahead to schedule. It works great 90% of the time, the other 10% they are really late or drive you all around town. The drivers can carry up to two bags to your door.” – Snowdonia

“In my area, Medicaid provides transport to doctor and therapy appointments. They can take you local or statewide.  The only problem is, the service was so difficult for me to deal with that I had to stop using them. But they do usually get you to your appointment, and it’s free.” – Lavender

Long Distance Travel

🌷How to Get Free Medical Travel (Plane, Trains, Hotels, etc)

Medical Transport

🌷 If you are on Medicaid, you may be able to get free Medicaid cabs or door-to-door transportation for visits to doctors and other healthcare providers. Or you may be able to get reimbursed for your travel costs. Contact your Medicaid agency to inquire. Reports from readers vary about the reliability of this service – but it does help a lot sometimes!

🌷 Some health insurance agencies can reimburse you for travel expenses or milage costs to your doctor. Contact your health insurance agency to ask if they offer this benefit.

Paratransit

🌷 Some areas have low-cost paratransit programs that will give you door-to-door transportation for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. How to Apply for Paratransit programs.

🌷 This is not just for doctor’s appointments. Can be used for trips anywhere. You do not need to be a wheelchair user.

Car Owners

🌷 Check out How to Find Help with Car Expenses

🌷 Also: How to Get a Disability Parking Placard.

Home Visits

🌷 Some areas have services that can provide home visits from doctors or nurses: Programs the provide home doctor visits

🌷 Azalea shared some great ideas on: How I Got Physical, Speech and Occupational Therapy at Home

Buses & Subways

🌷 Some areas offer free or discounted bus and subway fares to people with disabilities. Inquire with your local transit authority.

State Home Aide Programs

🌷 State home aide programs are designed to keep people out of nursing homes. If you are in a state home aide program, you can select an aide who has a car and can drive you places. These programs may also be called IHSS or Home and Community Based Services or Waiver programs.

🌷 Some state home aide programs have additional benefits of free medical or non-medical transportation. Ask your caseworker.

🌷 If your aide is not allowed to drive you places, this may be because the agency they work for has a restriction on driving for insurance or liability reasons. Most state home aide programs will let you stop using an agency and instead use Self Directed Care, so there will be no restrictions on driving: Agency Care vs Self-Directed Care

🌷 If you do not qualify for a state home aide program, there may be other programs in your area that can assist: How to Get a Caregiver. Unfortunately many of these programs have been cut and no longer exist in many areas.

Free Rides

Contact local agencies to see if they offer rides for people with disabilities. Where to contact:

  • Senior center (even if you are young)
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers
  • Area Agencies on Aging (again, any age)
  • Council for Independent Living
  • Alzheimer Groups
  • Community Action Agencies

Document Your Medical Travel Expenses

Keep track of all your medical transportation expenses. This can include:

  • Anytime you travel to a doctor, pharmacy, or health practitioner
  • Taxis, bus, or subway fares
  • Mileage rate if you are driving (IRS mileage rate)
  • Mileage rate if someone is driving you (IRS mileage rate)
  • Hotels, planes, food – If you need to travel out of town for medical appointment

There are three ways that documenting your medical travel may help you:

  1. Can make your Food Stamps go up
  2. If you live in certain kinds of affordable housing, can make your rent go down
  3. Can lower your taxes

Learn more about how this works: How to Document Medical Expenses

Thanks for Reading

🌸 This page is part of the free online guide: How to Be Poor in America

🌸 Art on this page by Robin Mead and Elizabeth D’Angelo.

🌸 Page Updated: 10/1/19

🌸 To get daily updates on helpful disability services, and low income programs, follow us on Facebook: The Sleepy Girl Guide.

🌸 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working. Please share this page with others by pressing one of these magic little buttons:

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