Medicaid transport program renewed

LISBON – Columbiana County commissioners renewed a program that provides transportation for Medicaid recipients to and from their medical appointments.

Medicaid is the federal/state-funded health insurance program that provides free or low-cost coverage to people from lower income households, and program money can be spent to provide transportation to medical appointments.

The program is administered locally through the county Department of Job and Family Services, and JFS Director Eileen Dray-Bardon said three years ago they began contracting with the Community Action Agency’s CARTS public transportation system to operate the program.

The new 12-month contract is for $1.2 million, and Dray-Bardon said CARTS subcontracts with other transportation services for those trips outside the county. Approximately 4,739 Medicaid recipients were transported last year under the program and 457,000 miles were driven, at a total cost of $1.1 million.

“We just transport to so many places. We have people going to Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Steubenville” for appointments, she said.

Medicaid income-eligibility levels for recipients varies from group to group, but the highest is 200 percent of the federal poverty level for children, which is currently $47,100 for a family of four.

In other action at last week’s commissioners meeting, the board approved the engineer’s office recommendation to award a bid for a 2014 26000 GVW Truck to Fyda Freightliner of Youngstown for $64,397.

The engineer’s office also received approval to award a bid for construction of salt-storage buildings at its main garage in Lisbon and satellite garages in Glenmoor and North Georgetown. The contract is going to the lowest bidder, Classical Construction of Apple Creek, which will be construct the three buildings for a combined $452,100.

Commissioners are contributing $150,000 to the salt-storage building project, with the money coming from the county’s share of the state casino tax money.