Member Ride Benefit

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ride benefit?

HPSM’s ride benefit provides no-cost transportation to and from approved health care visits when you have no other way of getting there and back home. Approved health care visits are:

  • Appointments for medical, dental, mental health and substance use care covered under HPSM
  • HPSM-approved visits for rehabilitation therapy and diagnostic testing 
  • Picking up medical supplies or prescription drugs from the pharmacy
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings

The ride benefit does not cover rides:

  • To non-healthcare locations (such as schools, government offices, grocery stores, gyms, other people’s homes, and so on) 
  • To health care locations when you did not have an appointment
  • To appointments after health care office hours
  • To pharmacies where you did not have prescriptions to pick up
  • To services that are not covered by Medi-Cal 
  • To services that are not health-related 
  • That you asked for but did not take when the driver got there (no-show rides)

HPSM checks rides to make sure the benefit is used the right way

  • If you misuse the ride benefit, you will be placed on a restricted ride list 
    • You will then have to get HPSM approval to schedule rides
    • ALC will not schedule rides without HPSM approval

Do I have to pay for rides?

HPSM members do not pay anything for rides that you get through ALC

  • HPSM will only reimburse you for a ride that you arranged if:
    • ALC confirms that you called ALC for a ride and 
    • ALC could not schedule your ride

How many rides I can get?

There are no limits on how many rides you can get for approved health care visits. All ride requests must go through ALC. 

What counts as having no means of transportation to health care visits?

If you:

  • Do not drive or do not have a vehicle
  • Cannot get a ride from a family member, friend or neighbor 
  • Cannot get to your appointment by public transportation (bus or train)

Then you may use the Ride Benefit to get to approved health care appointments.

How do I ask for a ride? 

Call HPSM’s contract provider, American Logistics Company (ALC)

  • CareAdvantage members: 1-877-356-1080 
  • Medi-Cal members: 1-844-856-4389 
  • TTY users: 1-800-735-2929 or 7-1-1
    • Call at least two (2) business days (Monday-Friday) before your appointment 
    • If you have an unexpected appointment, call as soon as you can (including after hours) 
    • Please have your HPSM ID card ready when you call ALC
    • Note: Native Americans may call their local Indian Health Center (IHC) to ask for ride services I assume that “IHC” stands for Indian Health Center, so I Googled that and linked to the list of locations

What if I need an ambulance, litter van or wheelchair van?

Do not call ALC: call HPSM Member Services

  • Specialized vehicles are available through HPSM’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit
  • Provider approval and authorization requirements must be met before you can get a ride in a specialized vehicle
  • For more information about the NEMT benefit, check the member handbook and provider directory for your plan

Does HPSM need to approve any rides?

You must call HPSM Member Services to get approval for the following types of rides before ALC will schedule them:

  • Rides that start and/or end outside of San Mateo, San Francisco and/or Santa Clara Counties
  • Rides that are more than 50 miles one-way regardless of which county they go to
  • If both addresses are outside of San Mateo County

What does ALC do when I call for a ride?

ALC will ask you:

  • Your HPSM ID number
  • The date and time that the ride is needed
  • The pickup and drop-off addresses 
  • If you need a round-trip ride
  • If the ride is for a health-related purpose
    • Rides that are not for a health-related purpose will be denied
  • If you have some other means of transportation to your appointment
  • If your ride is to a doctor or dental office, pharmacy, rehabilitation therapy center, diagnostic testing center, etc.
    • ALC will map the destination address to check that the location is a medical/health-related location
    • If you’re going to a church or community center, ALC will check that you are going to an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting, since these places are not usually healthcare locations
  • What type of ride you want:
    • Curb-to-curb: you must have a cell phone that can get text messages from your driver and you must be able to wait outside at the curb for your ride.
    • Door-to-door: you can walk but need assistance from the driver to get in and/or out of the vehicle and/or assistance getting into a building
    • Door-to-door will also be used if you do not have a phone that can get text messages from a driver

What happens after I schedule a ride?

Be ready for your ride at the pickup time that you asked for

  • Your ride is most often scheduled to pick you up at least sixty (60) minutes before your scheduled healthcare appointment
  • A driver will wait up to five (5) minutes, so it is vital that you are ready for your ride

If you schedule a round-trip ride, you must call ALC when you are ready to be picked up for the return trip

  • The return trip is called a “will-call” ride

Due to unforeseen traffic or other reasons, your ride may come later than the scheduled pick-up time

  • For first pickup rides (the outbound ride) to the appointment, a ride is late if the driver gets there more than fifteen (15) minutes after your scheduled pickup time
  • For rides home from an appointment (the “will-call ride”), a ride is late if the driver gets there more that forty-five (45) minutes after you called ALC to ask for the will-call return ride

Can other people ride with me?

One other person can go with you in the vehicle 

  • When you call ALC to schedule a ride, tell ALC that someone will be going with you so that they can order the right size of vehicle
  • If the ride is for a child’s health-care appointment, a second adult may go with the child in the vehicle
  • You may have to share a ride with some other HPSM member you do not know who is going to the same place

Can an emotional support animal ride with me?

Yes, but you must provide current documentation (no more than one year old) on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional stating:

  • That you have a disability 
  • The reason why the animal must travel with you, such as: 
    • That you have a mental health-related disability listed in the DSM-IV
    • Having the animal accompany you is necessary for your mental health or treatment
    • The provider assessing your need is a licensed mental health professional and that you are under their care

Can I request a ride for a child?

A parent or guardian must provide written consent before requesting a ride for an unaccompanied minor

  • Written consent can be emailed to CustomerSupport@hpsm.org or faxed to 650-616-8581
  • HPSM will send a copy of the written consent to ALC

How do I cancel a ride?

To avoid a no-show ride, you must call ALC to cancel your ride at least two (2) hours before the scheduled pickup time