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Ducey: AHCCCS to cover vaccine appointment transportation costs for Medicaid members

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PHOENIX (KVOA) - To help people on Medicaid get vaccinated, Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System will cover transportation costs related to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

In a release shared Monday, non-emergency medical transportation will be reimbursed for transporting AHCCCS members to their appointments at drive-through vaccination sites starting Monday. The governor said this cost will be covered by a temporary rate change.

“We are committed to making the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to all Arizonans,” Ducey said. “This change will make it easier for our most vulnerable Arizonans, individuals with disabilities and those with chronic and long-term care needs to get vaccinated. Arizona is thrilled to be the first state in the nation to implement this rate reimbursement innovation, and we will continue expanding access to the vaccine as supply increases. I’m grateful to AHCCCS for pioneering this change and their work to serve vulnerable Arizonans.”

With about 30 percent of Arizonans under Medicaid, health officials said getting this population vaccinated is an important step in Arizona's efforts in combatting COVID-19.

“With the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, AHCCCS is working to ensure that Medicaid-eligible individuals have equal access to this critical health service, and that we are eliminating any potential barriers to care,” said Jami Snyder, director of AHCCCS, “whether that may be a transportation, scheduling, or mobility issue.”

Arizona is currently battling a vaccine shortage after the winter storms affect majority of the U.S. delayed vaccine shipments to the Grand Canyon State.

Since then, Pima County and several other counties across Arizona have been forced to cancel vaccine appointments.

Southern Arizona's first state-run vaccine distribution opened on Thursday. That facility is located at the mall at the University of Arizona.

The county also announced Tuesday that it will begin pre-registration for people 65 and older starting Thursday at 9 a.m.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccinations, visit webcms.pima.gov or call 520-222-0119.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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