Transportation Benefits for Situations that are not Emergencies (Medical)

Medical Transportion Benefits

You can get medical transportation if you have medical needs that do not allow you to use a car, bus, or taxi to your appointments. You can get medical transportation for covered services and Medi-Cal covered pharmacy appointments. You can request medical transportation by asking your doctor, dentist, podiatrist, or mental health or substance use disorder provider for it. Your provider will decide the correct type of transportation to meet your needs.

If they find that you need medical transportation, they will prescribe it by filling out a form and submitting it to L.A. Care. Once approved, the approval is good for up to 12 months, depending on the medical need. Once approved, you can get as many rides as you need. Your doctor will need to reassess your medical need for medical transportation and re-approve it every 12 months.

Medical transportation is an ambulance, litter van, wheelchair van, or air transport. L.A. Care allows the lowest cost medical transportation for your medical needs when you need a ride to your appointment. That means, for example, if you can physically or medically be transported by a wheelchair van, L.A. Care will not pay for an ambulance. You are only entitled to air transport if your medical condition makes any form of ground transportation impossible.

You will get medical transportation if:

  • It is physically or medically needed, with a written authorization by a doctor or other provider because you are not able to physically or medically able to use a bus, taxi, car, or van to get to your appointment
  • You need help from the driver to and from your home, vehicle, or place of treatment due to a physical or mental disability

To ask for medical transportation that your doctor has prescribed for non-urgent (routine) appointments, call L.A. Care at 1-888-839-9909 (TTY: 711) at least two (2) business days in advance (Monday - Friday) before your appointment. For urgent appointments, call as soon as possible. Have your member ID card ready when you call.

Limits of Medical Transportation

L.A. Care provides the lowest cost medical transportation that meets your medical needs to the closest provider from your home where an appointment is available. You cannot get medical transportation if Medi-Cal does not cover the service you are getting, or it is not a Medi-Cal-covered pharmacy appointment.
There is a list of covered services in the Benefits & Services section of this handbook.

If Medi-Cal covers the appointment type but not through the health plan, L.A. Care will not cover the medical transportation but can help you schedule your transportation with Medi-Cal. Transportation is not covered outside of the network or service area unless pre-authorized by L.A. Care. To learn more or to ask for medical transportation, call Member Services at 1-888-839-9909 (TTY 711).

Cost to Member

There is no cost when L.A. Care arranges transportation.

Learn about Non-Medical Transportation Benefits

Back to Medi-Cal Benefits Covered by L.A. Care.