Coronavirus

Six ways to get a free ride to a COVID-19 vaccination appointment

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — IU Health is offering free rides to anyone with a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at any clinic in the state, becoming the largest of several other organizations overcoming barriers between Hoosiers and vaccines.

It’s part of the hospital group’s effort to help vaccinate Hoosiers, according to Lori Satterfield, community outreach program manager at IU Health.

“We really hope ultimately that we see an uptick in continual vaccination rates,” she said. “Like everyone else, IU hopes to play its part in helping Indiana move out of this pandemic.”

IU Health asks that you call ahead to schedule your transportation: 1-888-IUHEALTH (1-888-484-3258) and choose option 9. You’ll be asked if you have insurance in case your insurance already covers the cost of transportation. Otherwise, IU Health will schedule your ride using its partner program Lyft or another transportation provider.

Satterfield also adds that interpreters from IU Health’s Language Services team are available to help if a caller does not speak English.

Ride services are available to anyone in Indiana, and the appointment does not need to be at an IU Health vaccine clinic. Hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday.

IU Health was recently awarded a grant from the Anthem, Inc., to support transportation to vaccine clinics.

The State Department of Health offers options for free rides through health insurance on its website. There are a list of insurance company phone numbers to call and check your coverage.

Other organizations have joined in the effort to make transportation easier for people with vaccination appointments.

Beech Grove Senior Center is offering free rides to anyone who lives in Beech Grove and the surrounding area, including Wanamaker, Greenwood, and Fountain Square. Director Stephanie Bramlett says you can request a ride by calling the Beech Grove Senior Center at 317-788-4987 during the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Staff will be available to help those in wheelchairs use standard vehicle seats.

“We’re encouraging everyone to receive the vaccine,” said Bramlett. “If it takes us to pick you, up we’ll pick you up, free of charge. We stay in the parking lot for you and take you back home.”

Boone County Senior Services are offering free rides to people in-county with an in-county appointment. Its program is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You’re asked to call 765-482-5220 and ask for transportation.

CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions offers rides to those who register with the organization, and options for homebound Hoosiers.

Some cities within Hamilton County are offering in-home vaccinations as well for homebound Hoosiers.

Uber and Lyft made headlines for partnering with Walgreens and CVS for rides, but not yet in Indiana. Lyft also started up a call-a-ride service to target seniors without access to its app, but that’s only active in Florida right now.

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