How to apply for medical transportation?

Who is First Transit and why do I have to call them?

HFS has contracted First Transit to help them manage the NETSPAP program. First Transit is not a transportation company. First Transit receives all your requests for transportation and then decides if they can be approved or if they have to be denied based on the rules given by HFS. For example, they have to make sure that you have Medicaid, that you have a scheduled appointment, and that you are going for a service that is covered by Medicaid. This process can take a few days so it’s always a good idea to submit your request at least a week before your appointment. If your request is approved, you can arrange your trip with a transportation company that’s enrolled in the program.

How do I know if I qualify for medical transportation?

To qualify for the NETSPAP program:

  1. You must be covered by Medicaid on the day of your appointment.
  2. You must have no other way to get to your appointment.
  3. You must be going to a medical appointment (not shopping or to work).
  4. Your medical appointment has to be scheduled, or if you’re going for a walk-in visit, we must be able to confirm they take walk-ins.
  5. You must be riding in the least expensive mode of transportation that meets your needs.
  6. You must be using a transportation company that is enrolled in the program and provides the mode of transportation that you need.
  7. You must be going to the closest medical provider that takes the Medicaid card.
  8. You must be going for a medical service that is covered by Medicaid.

How do I request medical transportation?

For complete instructions click here

You can do it several ways:

  1. By Phone – Call First Transit at (877) 725-0569 and speak to a Customer Service Representative.
  2. By Fax – Fax your trip request form to (630) 873-1450.
  3. By Mail – Mail your trip request form to First Transit, Inc., 799 W. Roosevelt Road, Building 4, Suite 200, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.
  4. If you have a preferred transportation company, you can ask them if they would be willing to request your transportation approval for you. Your doctor’s office might be willing to do it for you too. The First Transit phone number for all providers is (866) 503-9040.
  5. Online (coming in the future) – Fill out your trip request form online and click on “Submit”.

Please keep in mind that you may need to call First Transit a few days after you submit to request to check on the status.

What information do I need to have when I call?

  • Your Medicaid ID number (9-digit Recipient Identification Number)
  • Your name (if someone else is calling for you we may need an OK from you before we can continue talking to them)
  • Information on how you have been getting to your medical appointments before using this service
  • If there are medical or non-medical reasons why you cannot use public or other transportation
  • The date and time of the appointment
  • Your pick-up address and phone number
  • The address and phone number where you are going
  • The name of the office/clinic/hospital where you are going
  • The name of the doctor you will be seeing
  • The general reason for your doctor’s visit
  • If you use a walker, wheelchair, or cane
  • If you can travel by yourself
  • The name of your preferred transportation company

How can I find a transportation company that can take me to the doctor?

  1. First Transit will give you the names and numbers of transportation companies in your area that can take you to your medical appointments. First Transit will also determine the most appropriate mode of transportation based on your needs (PACE, Metra, public transportation, paratransit, taxi, medicar, ambulance, etc.).
  2. You need to call the transportation companies that were given to you and find out if they can take you to your appointment.
  3. Call First Transit back to let them know what company will take you to your appointment (since there are some companies with the same name, you might need to give us the phone number to the company)
  4. If your request for transportation is approved, First Transit will give you an approved Request Tracking Number (RTN). Call the transportation company to give them this number and set up your ride.

Note: First Transit does not call the transportation companies to schedule pick up and drop off times.

What if I can’t find a transportation company to take me to my appointment?

Occasionally, there may not be a transportation company available in your area that are enrolled in the program or that can take you to your appointment. In that case, we will be unable to assist you with your transportation request. If you have a friend or family member who can transport you to your medical appointments, they may be able to enroll as a private auto provider. They can contact the IMPACT Provider Enrollment Services at (877) 782-5565 (Option 1) or click here for more information.

How long will it take for my trip to be authorized?

While most trips can be approved or denied at the time of the phone call, some requests need a longer processing time, such as:

  • Appointments to Behavioral Health Services (for example visiting a psychiatrist, going to psychotherapy or other mental health related issues): 5 business days.
  • Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech Therapy (ST), and Aqua therapy (AT): 5 business days.
  • Long Distance Trips: 7 business days.

If you call to request authorization for your trip less than a week in advance, we may not be able to approve your trip.