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Texas Medicaid and CHIP

Medical Transportation Program

The Medical Transportation Program sets up non-emergency rides for people who have no other way to get to their Medicaid health-care visits. This includes people with Medicaid, children who get services through the Children with Special Health Care Needs program, and people in the Transportation of Indigent Cancer Patients program. The program does not set up rides in an ambulance, even for non-emergency purposes, but the program can pay back (reimburse) someone who uses their personal car to drive a Medicaid member to and from their Medicaid-related health visit.

Getting rides

  • How to set up a ride
    • To be approved for a ride, you must not have any other way to get to your Medicaid-related health visit. Here are the steps to setting up a ride:

      1. Call us at least 2 work days or more before you need a ride. If you will need to travel a long way out of town to see your doctor, call us at least 5 work days before you need a ride. If you need a ride the same day you call us, we will do everything we can to help, but we can’t promise we will be able to get you a ride.
      2. When you call, you will need to give us the following facts:
        • Your Medicaid ID number, Children with Special Health Care Needs program number, or your Social Security number.
        • The address where we will pick you up. If there is a phone number at the place we are picking you up, we need that too.
        • The name, address and phone number of the doctor or drug store where you need to go.
        • The date and time of your doctor’s visit.
        • If you or your children have any special needs we’ll need to know that so we can send the right type of vehicle. For example, for people who use a wheelchair, we can send a van with a wheelchair ramp.

      The toll-free phone number you call depends on where you live:

      • Live in the Houston / Beaumont area? Call 1-855-687-4786.
      • Live in the Dallas area? Call 1-855-687-3255.
      • Everyone else can call 1-877-633-8747 (1-877-MED-TRIP).

  • Who can go with your child
    • Do you have a child age 14 or younger who needs a ride? The law requires that a parent, guardian, or other adult approved by the parent must 1) ride with the child to the Medicaid-related health visit, 2) stay with the child during the visit, and 3) ride home with the child from the visit. This means that if you aren’t able to go with your child to the visit, as the parent you must:

      • Tell us who will go with your child. You can choose an adult to go with your child as long as that adult is not: 1) the doctor or specialist providing the child’s Medicaid services, 2) an employee of that Medicaid provider, or 3) someone paid by that provider.
      • Fill out a Parent Authorization Form to let us know which adults can go with your child. If you have not already filled out this form, we can send you one.
      • Make sure the adult you choose knows he or she must be present when the child is picked up and ride with the child. That person must show a photo ID to the driver and sign the driver log.

      Children who are 15 to 17 years old can travel without an adult if their parent or guardian has filled out a consent form before setting up the trip. Other children who can travel without an adult are 1) teens who are parents, 2) children who have been emancipated by the court, and 3) children that have a doctor visit that must be kept private.

      If you have questions or need a Parent Authorization Form or a consent form sent to you, call 1-877-633-8747. That’s a toll-free call.

  • Ways we can get you to your Medicaid-related health visit
    • When you call to set up a ride, we will talk with you to decide the best way to your visit. These are ways we can get you there:

      In town: Bus, van, taxi, rail, or ride provided by yourself, a family member, or friend.

      If a family member or friend wants to provide the ride, they must first become an Individual Transportation Provider by filling out paperwork and providing a current driver’s license and proof of registration and insurance for their car or truck. Learn more about becoming an Individual Transportation Provider online or call 1-800-925-9126. That’s a toll-free call.

      Out of town: Bus, van, rail, or airline.

      Children and youth age 20 and younger also can get paid back (reimbursed) for the cost of meals and lodging when an out-of-town, overnight health care visit is necessary. If the family cannot afford to pay the costs for meals and lodging, they can ask to get money before the trip to pay the costs. 

  • Who provides the rides?

Questions and Answers About Rides

  • If my child is 17 years old or younger can he or she go to the doctor without an adult?
    • Children who are 14 and younger can never travel without an adult. Children who are 15 to 17 years old can travel without an adult if their parent or guardian has filled out a consent form before setting up the trip. To get this form, call us toll-free:

      If you live in the Houston / Beaumont area, call 1-855-687-4786.

      If you live in the Dallas area, call 1-855-687-3255.

      Everyone else can call 1-877-633-8747 (1-877-MED-TRIP).

      Other children who can travel without an adult are 1) teens who are parents, 2) children who have been emancipated by a court and 3) children who have a doctor visit that must be kept private.

  • I need to go to the dentist. Will Medicaid pay for my ride to the dentist?
    • Kids with Medicaid can get a ride to dentist Medicaid and some adults with Medicaid may be able to get a ride, too. Call us at 877-633-8747 (1-877 MED-TRIP).

  • I heard that Medicaid will help pay if I can find someone to drive me. Is that true?
    • Medicaid will reimburse, or pay back, someone else to drive you to your doctor's visit or drug store if the driver:
      1. Completes an Individual Transportation Participant enrollment application. To get this form, call us toll-free at 1-877-633-8747.
      2. Has a current driver's license, license plates, inspection sticker and car insurance.
      HHSC’s Medical Transportation Program must approve each trip before the person drives you.
  • If someone driving a car owned by a non-profit organization, doctor's office, service organization or association drives me to my doctor's visit; will Medicaid pay for the trip?
    • No. We can only help pay for a ride if the person driving you is using a personal car.

  • I have a car, but I'm having trouble buying gas. Will Medicaid help pay for my trip?
    • We may be able to pay you back for gas you used on your trip or someone else who drives you to your doctor’s visit or drug store if we have approved your trip before you take it. To learn more, call us toll-free:
      If you live in the Houston / Beaumont area, call 1-855-687-4786.
      If you live in the Dallas area, call 1-855-687-3255.
      Everyone else can call 1-877-633-8747 (1-877-MED-TRIP).


  • What happens if my child has to stay in a hospital and I need to spend the night?
    • Sometimes we can help a parent or guardian with meals and a place to stay if the child has to stay in the hospital. Call 1-877-633-8747 (1-877-MED-TRIP).

  • I don't have an emergency, but I need a ride to the doctor in an ambulance. Who do I call?

    • The Medical Transportation Program does not arrange emergency or non-emergency transportation by ambulance. Have your doctor call the TMHP Contact Center at 1-800-925-9126.

  • Can I set up more than one trip in the same call?

    • Yes.

  • Can I ride in a vehicle other than a bus or van if my medical condition requires it?
    • We can send your doctor a form that he or she will need to fill out to be sure the right vehicle type is available to meet your need.

  • What if an adult needs a ride but cannot travel without someone to ride along and help?
    • Another person can travel with an adult if a doctor agrees that person needs help during the trip. We can send your doctor the form that he or she will need to fill out.

  • Will you keep facts about my health and medical treatments private?
    • Yes. The drivers only get the facts they need to give you a ride.

  • I missed my ride or my ride did not show up. What do I do?
    • If you missed your ride or your ride did not show up call us at 1-877-633-8747 (1-877-MED-TRIP).

Forms you might need

Parent Authorization Form. Can’t go with your child to their visit to the doctor or dentist? Use this form to name the adults who you approve to go with your child (age 14 or younger) to their Medicaid-related health visits.

Consent for Travel by Unaccompanied Minor. Use this form if you want your 15, 16, or 17 year-old child to get a ride to their Medicaid-related health visit without their parent or guardian.

Report fraud, waste, or abuse

You can report fraud, waste, or abuse of Medicaid or transportation services online or by calling the Office of Inspector General at 1-800-436-6184. That’s a toll-free call.

Providing rides

Friends, family providing rides

Individual Transportation Providers are friends and family members who provide rides to Medicaid-related health visits. They get paid back by the mile (reimbursed) at the state mileage rate. To become one of these providers, a person must sign up through the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP). HHSC has a contract with TMHP to process applications for people wanting to provide rides. TMHP also processes claims for payment for these providers.

To learn more about becoming an Individual Transportation Provider or to get ITP updates, visit the TMHP website or call 1-800-925-9126. That’s a toll-free call.