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Arizona to make it easier for Medicaid members to receive COVID-19 vaccine

(Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch via AP)

PHOENIX — Arizona has launched an initiative aimed at expanding access for Medicaid members who want to receive the coronavirus vaccine at statewide drive-thru locations.

Gov. Doug Ducey and AHCCCS, the state’s Medicaid agency, announced Monday that transportation to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be reimbursed as non-emergency medical transportation.

“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,” Ducey said in a press release.

Arizona is the first state to introduce a transportation reimbursement measure for Medicaid members wanting to get the shots.

AHCCCS is also collaborating with the Arizona Department of Health Services to add additional staff as vaccine navigators.

Those in the role will assist with appointment scheduling and setting up transportation for members.

Will Humble, president of the Arizona Public Health Association, told KTAR News 92.3 FM it’s important that the service become quickly publicized since it affects a high number of residents in the state.

AHCCCS is in use for about 30% of Arizonans.

“Authorizing is one thing, but getting the word out is another thing,” Humble said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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