Stories

Medicaid programs embrace Uber and Lyft for patients

More state Medicaid programs are making it easier for patients to use ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft as a non-emergency transportation benefit, Kaiser Health News reports.

Why it matters: More than 2 million Medicaid enrollees under 65 years old delayed their care in 2017 because they lacked transportation, per a federal survey.

  • Lyft has partnered with about 35 state Medicaid programs, while Uber began working with Medicaid in Arizona this summer.
  • Enrollees don't need a smartphone or the ride-sharing app and won't have to reserve the ride days ahead of time, like they often have to do when using traditional Medicaid transportation programs.

Yes but: Transportation doesn't alleviate all the factors that may cause a Medicaid patient to miss an appointment — like lack of child care, scheduling conflicts or long wait times.

  • Uber and Lyft may also not be ideal for people who need longer than the allotted five-minute wait time for pick up.

Go deeper: Uber wants to get you to your doctor appointment