In order to assist with changes being implemented by the state, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is reminding riders that bus passes for Medicaid-approved trips to doctors’ offices and other medical appointments are no longer available for purchase at participating supermarkets.
The state Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is now requiring that any Medicaid-covered passes or tickets for transport to medical appointments be obtained by calling its vendor, LogistiCare, at 1-855-330-9131.
LogistiCare is advising riders to call at least seven days ahead for scheduled medical appointments and that bus passes or tickets will then be mailed to recipients.
Requests for transportation to medical appointments can be made up to 30 days in advance with LogistiCare.
The new process of obtaining bus passes and/or tickets for medical trips through LogistiCare goes into effect Monday, Dec. 1, but riders can call LogistiCare to begin scheduling their rides now.
People who get bus tickets through the state’s “Rhode Island Works” program are also affected by this change and must contact LogistiCare to get their tickets mailed to them.
Prior to this new procedure, riders needing passes for qualifying medical appointments and those participating in Rhode Works programs could obtain what they needed at certain Stop & Shop and Shaw’s Supermarkets.
LogistiCare has told RIPTA that even with the change in procedure, it will have the ability to provide transportation, or access to transportation, to people who have urgent medical appointments and therefore do not have enough lead time to receive tickets/passes in the mail.
LogistiCare said that the specifics would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
“As the state and LogistiCare move forward with the changes in these programs, RIPTA’s main goal is to make sure that our riders get as much advance information as possible,” said Barbara Polichetti, RIPTA’s director of public affairs.
She noted that RIPTA will be using the electronic signs on its buses to help remind riders in the two programs that they must now go through LogistiCare to get their passes and/or tickets.
RIPTA will also be posting the information on its website and social media, and drivers will be informed of the change so they can better assist riders.
For information on RIPTA services, passengers may call 781-9400 or visit www.ripta.com.