LOUISVILLE, Ky. and TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Missing a child's parent-teacher conference or a doctor's visit due to lack of transportation is a reality for many living in Kentucky's western counties. WellCare of Kentucky, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE:WCG), understands the need for reliable transportation to improve health. As a result, WellCare has granted $25,000 to Pennyrile Allied Community Services (PACS) for its transportation services program—the largest transportation grant WellCare has ever awarded in the state.
The WellCare grant will fund travel services for medical- and school-related trips for low-income individuals and families. The medical transportation program will be implemented in Christian, Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston, Lyon, Todd and Trigg counties, while the school transportation program will be offered only in Caldwell County.
Through WellCare community health forums, called HealthConnections Councils, area residents identified transportation as the most urgent service gap for health in western Kentucky. The travel program was developed as a direct result of those forums.
"We heard the community health leaders in western Kentucky loud and clear. Transportation is an overlooked necessity for preventing disease and improving health, especially for those with chronic conditions," said Bill Jones, president, WellCare of Kentucky. "These vouchers are a smart investment in community health because regular, reliable access to health care helps people address health concerns quickly, instead of delaying care until travel is convenient or affordable. By reducing those health risks early, we can slow disease progression and help prevent future hospitalizations."
WellCare partnered with PACS to provide similar transportation vouchers in Muhlenberg and Hopkins counties in Kentucky. The program provided more than 100 medical transportation trips in 2016.
PACS is a private, nonprofit community action agency dedicated to reducing and eliminating poverty in nine western Kentucky counties by providing opportunities for education, training and work. The PACS transportation program carries out the organization's mission by providing safe, reliable and affordable transportation options to the residents of the Pennyrile region.
Transportation services can be used by low-income residents seeking medical transportation, such as trips to dental, vision, hearing, pharmacy and behavioral health appointments. Travel vouchers are available now and may be used until June 30, 2018. To learn more about the program, or to schedule a trip, visit http://www.pacs-ky.org or call the PACS office at 270-886-7999. Trips must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.
As of June 30, 2017, WellCare serves approximately 446,000 Medicaid members, 9,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 23,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Kentucky. To learn more about how we care for Kentuckians, watch Brandi's story at http://youtu.be/YwOw5EgeSYo.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. WellCare serves approximately 4.4 million members nationwide as of June 30, 2017. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.