It seems I’m not the only one regularly left facing the choice of either rescheduling an appointment, asking my husband to call in sick, or hiring an expensive and unreliable taxi to come pick me up, so I’ve decided to write a blog about the many ways one may be able to get assistance with transportation to a medical appointment, hospital or ER when your situation isn’t life threatening.
Obviously, if you feel the situation is life threatening, you want to call 911 and have an ambulance dispatched to your location immediately (it always amazes me that every health organization in the world feels the need to announce this, but they do, so I guess I’ll do the same).
If it’s non-emergent, you have a scheduled appointment or procedure, you may be able to arrange transportation through your insurance (yes, even medicare and medicaid) especially if your disability prevents you from driving or you don’t have access to transportation that will easily accomodate your limitations. Call them and see what they provide and what you need to do to get wtarted. I’m not saying it’s easy or that there aren’t other qualifications you may need to meet, but it’s definitely worth investigating.
Another option is to explore community services available in your area. The best way to do this is call 611 or visit the United Way website to obtain a list of referrals for your area. Your local hospital would probably be a good place to start as well as they always keep licensed social workers on staff to assist with such inquiries.
If you aren’t able to take any of these avenues or don’t have time, there are more options still. For a short on time fix, Uber might be the way to go. Below, I have included a link to use my referral, which will get you your first ride free, up to $10.00. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much by taxi standards, but by Uber standards, $7.50 gets me to my local hospital and another $1.50 gets me to my GP. When I was first forced to take an Uber, I found a Groupon that included my first 3 rides for $6 (and it covered up to $8 per ride), so my first 3 rides came to a whopping $7.50. Definitely check Groupon before using my link. I would appreciate the $10 credit, but you really can’t pass up a great deal like that if you can get it.
Finally, if you have a non-emergent need to go to the emergency room and don’t have a way to get there, call the hospital and ask them if they do vouchers for any of the local cab companies as I understand this is sometimes the case in some cities.