Using MATP to get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) is available for Medical Assistance consumers who are enrolled in MATP and need transportation to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.  MA consumers enrolled in managed care plans (e.g., Keystone First, Health Partners, UPMC, and PHW) or receiving MA services under Fee-For-Services can both utilize MATP for travel to a vaccination site.  The vaccination sites do not need to be Medicaid-approved provider for consumer to use that site, as many of these sites are non-traditional facilities given the COVID-19 health emergency.  

Enrolling in MATP  

MA consumers who are not enrolled in MATP or using MATP for medical appointments must enroll in the program before they can utilize MATP service to the vaccination site.  MATP requires a signed application.  MATP consumers may file an application online, if the option is available in their county, and provide the required signature on the application within 30 days.  Consumers can use MATP as soon as their application is filed and approved.  Signing the application should not be a barrier to getting a ride to the vaccination site.  

In counties that do not offer online application, MA consumers must call their respective county MATP providers  and verify their eligibility.  Once the MATP provider confirms the eligibility, the MATP provider must start providing rides during the 30 days in which the application is mailed, completed (signed) and returned.  

No MATP Without a Vaccine Appointment  

MA consumers may enroll in MATP in anticipation of getting the vaccine, but until they have an actual appointment (e.g., site, date, and time), they will not be able to arrange a ride.  MATP will not provide rides to walk-in vaccination sites.  When calling for a ride, the MATP consumers will be asked to provide information on the site, including vaccination appointment time and the return ride time, like any other medical appointment.  

Alternatively, consumers could also ask for reimbursement for public transportation or mileage if they will be using their own vehicle; however, consumers still must be enrolled in the MATP program to use these reimbursement benefits.  

MATP During COVID-19 

The state has changed how medical transportation is provided when during the COVID-19 health emergency.  See PHLP’s Fact Sheet here for the guidance issued by the state.  

Since a COVID-19 vaccination appointment will qualify as a face-to-face visit, MA consumers need not go through the step of confirming the need for an in-person visit as specified in the state guidance.  However, the MATP provider can still ask health-related screening questions.  MA consumers should call their local MATP provider as soon as they know the date and time of their vaccination appointment.  It is unclear at this time how quickly a ride can be arranged given the short time frames on the vaccine appointment.  

Non-Medical Transportation  

MA consumers in managed care plans should also contact their plan to see if non-medical transportation can be arranged to the vaccination site.   

Get Legal Help  

If you need help getting to a vaccination site and both MATP and your managed care plan have denied your request for transportation, call the Pennsylvania Health Law Project at 1-800-274-3258