U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers
a wide range of agencies and programs around issues of social, mental, physical health and well-being,
aging, environmental health, and research. Since access to transportation can be directly related to
the accessibility of health, education, and well-being services, some HHS agencies have become
involved in rural transportation programs or funding.
Administration for Children and Families
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provides funding,
training, and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments, as well as human services providers,
whose goal is to support the economic and social health of children and their families.
Head Start is a federal program that provides early childhood education and other social services
to low-income families with young children and families of children with disabilities. For some rural
communities, Head Start may be the primary option for preschool-aged children and their families to
receive services like early childhood education and health screenings that will support healthy
development and prepare them for kindergarten. Agencies receiving funding for Head Start programming
required to provide transportation services to children whose families would not otherwise
have access, but individual programs can choose to do so if there is a significant need for it in
the community. Additionally, programs may coordinate with other community organizations to ensure
eligible children are able to attend school.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides
health insurance for over 100 million Americans through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health
Insurance Program, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. It also manages a range of programs designed
to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs.
Medicaid is the national health insurance program for low-income people or people living with disabilities.
Medicaid covers 21% of rural residents (compared to 16% of urban residents). In
addition to medical services, Medicaid also covers many supportive health services like non-emergency medical
transportation (NEMT). The
NEMT benefit ensures that people will have transportation to medically-necessary appointments. Some
states limit the number of trips a person can take each month.