UK HealthCare

Kentucky Homeplace, WellCare of Kentucky partner to distribute free gas cards

iStock / Getty Images Plus Credit: Natnan Srisuwan
Natnan Srisuwan, iStock / Getty Images.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2022) Over the past few years, many medically underserved Kentuckians have delayed seeking care to help manage chronic conditions or to make preventative medical appointments. First, COVID-19 restrictions kept people from making appointments. Now, a steep rise in gas prices has made getting to appointments even more difficult.

To alleviate the financial strain of high gas prices and to encourage people to make and keep important appointments, Kentucky Homeplace (KHP) and WellCare of Kentucky have partnered to distribute free gas cards to current WellCare Medicaid members. KHP, a program of the University of Kentucky’s Center of Excellence in Rural Health (UK CERH), is coordinating the distribution in their 32-county service area in Eastern Kentucky.

“We understand that many individuals have fallen behind on preventive care during the pandemic and as a result of the high cost of gas,” said Fran Feltner, Ph.D., director of the UK CERH and principal investigator of KHP. “This program is going to help a lot of people get back on track.”

The project is supported by a $15,000 gift from WellCare.

“Lack of transportation is often a barrier for our members, especially those who live in more rural areas,” said Corey Ewing, plan president and CEO of WellCare. “We don’t want the inability to fill their tank to keep them from making and keeping what in some cases can be livesaving appointments.”

KHP community health workers will identify clients in their 32-county service area of Eastern Kentucky who have fallen behind on preventive care, and who are WellCare Medicaid members, to connect them with this opportunity.


About WellCare Kentucky

WellCare of Kentucky provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex needs primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans across the state. WellCare is a wholly subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading health care enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information, please visit

About Kentucky Homeplace

Residents of rural Kentucky have unusually high levels of certain diseases. These include cancer, heart disease, hypertension, asthma and diabetes. Lifestyle choices, environmental factors, inadequate health insurance and general lack of understanding of the healthvcare system are often cited as contributing to this condition. Kentucky Homeplace was created in 1994 by the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health to help address these issues. Based in Hazard, Kentucky, Kentucky Homeplace’s 32-county community health worker initiative has linked tens of thousands of rural Kentuckians with medical, social and environmental services they otherwise might have gone without. For more information, visit

About the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health

The University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health was established by state legislation in 1990 to address health disparities in rural Kentucky and the unique challenges faced by our communities. The mission was and still is today to improve the health and well-being of rural Kentuckians. For more than three decades, the center has partnered with communities, providers, students and individuals to provide health professions education, health policy research, health care service and community engagement toward reaching this mission. For more information, visit

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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