Medicaid patients will have a new option for getting to a medical appointment under a new law that takes effect Monday. The law authorizes transportation network companies like Lyft and Uber, under state and federal Medicaid requirements, to provide nonemergency medical transportation services to Medicaid recipients.

“I was honored to sponsor this legislation, which will bring much-needed relief to thousands of Floridians struggling with the high costs of transportation and health care,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. 

In the past, Medicaid patients had to rely on nonemergency medical transportation that didn’t always guarantee them a ride. The introduction of ridesharing into the process is expected to benefit millions of Americans.

A study published in March by the American Journal of Public Health showed that modernizing nonemergency medical transportation through rideshare could generate cost-savings of $537 million a year when scaled nationally. 

“Bold ideas are the key to providing affordable solutions to our health care challenges, and the transparency and convenience offered by ridesharing companies will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many Floridians,” Brandes added.

 “Floridians deserve access to affordable, convenient transportation services, which is why I sponsored this legislation that our state has now chosen to embrace,” said Rep. Daniel Perez, R-Miami. “With rising costs for health care, we must do everything we can to find innovative, affordable solutions, especially for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Lyft is already an enrolled Medicaid provider in Arizona. The company’s VP of Healthcare, Megan Callahan, said the there’s a natural connection between Medicaid patients who are in need of affordable and convenient transportation and states trying to save money on the cost of nonemergency medical transportation. 

“As Lyft continues to grow in the healthcare market, we welcome the opportunity to serve all Medicaid beneficiaries,” said Callahan, “Senator Brandes and Representative Perez have led the way in making it possible for more Floridians to reach their healthcare providers affordably and conveniently, and we thank Governor DeSantis for signing this important legislation into law. In the end, the people of Florida will benefit from this forward-thinking reform.”