CALL PATHFINDER: TennCare’s Mileage Reimbursement Program Helps with Medical Transportation Costs – January 2023

Animated Image of a desktop setting with a notepad with a pen on top on the bottom left of the image. On the top left of the image is two green leaves. On the top center of image is a yellow and a white notepad showing partially. On the top right of the image is a pair of glasses. Text on the image: TennCare's Mileage Reimbursement Program helps with Medical Transportation Costs CALL PATHFINDER 800-640-4636. Pathfinder's branded graphic is on the notepad on the bottom left above the pen.

Caller:  I am having trouble getting my child to medical appointments that she really needs. My car is 15 years old – not the best on gas mileage, and I am crossing two county lines to get to her pediatrician and therapist. Even if gas prices are down right now, it is getting too expensive for us. My husband is in between jobs, and our finances are really tight. I have applied for Family Support as I understand they can help with travel expenses, but there is a wait list. My daughter does have TennCare, but we have preferred to drive ourselves instead of using the TennCare transportation providers. Any ideas?

PATHFINDER: There is a program through TennCare that might work better for your family. It is the Mileage Reimbursement program. As you know, anyone who has TennCare for their health insurance can get transportation provided to and from medical appointments. But I talk to a lot of people who do not know that there is a mileage reimbursement option, so a family member or friend can drive a person to the doctor and get paid for the number of miles in that round trip.

Non-emergent medical transportation, known as NEMT, is provided for TennCare members by Verida (formerly Southeastrans, Inc.) and Tennessee Carriers. Which company you call depends on a TennCare member’s managed care organization (MCO). Verida provides transportation services or the mileage reimbursement program to persons who have either BlueCare or TennCare Select as their TennCare MCO. Tennessee Carriers provides transportation services or the mileage reimbursement program to persons who have either Amerigroup or United Healthcare as their MCO.

Just as you do when scheduling a ride, both companies require reservations three days (72 hours) in advance for mileage reimbursement. Each company has their own process, rules and forms, but both have a form that you use to record trip details and collect signatures. For example on the Tennessee Carriers’ form, three signatures — the driver, the Tenncare member who has the medical appointment, and the doctor, clinician  or “medical provider” – are required.

As of Dec. 30, 2022 when I last checked, Southeastrans’ mileage rate is .54 cents a mile. Tennessee Carriers rate is .60 cents a mile.