Health Information from the Government
Find information about the 2019 coronavirus. Find a wealth of online health care information: Use the Medline Plus search tool to answer your medical questions, find information for seniors, visit sites covering issues like Alzheimer’s, vaccines, and rare diseases, discover caregiver support resources.
Government Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Learn about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and what the U.S. government is doing in response.
What is the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how is it spread?
The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. Its symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus is believed to spread like the flu when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
What are U.S. federal agencies doing in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Federal agencies are working to limit the spread of the virus in the U.S. and to develop effective treatments for it.
What do travelers need to know about the coronavirus?
Find Answers to Your Medical Questions
The MedlinePlus search tool is from the National Library of Medicine. Find easy-to-understand information you can trust about diseases and medical conditions, drugs and supplements, and medical research and clinical trials. You’ll also find helpful videos and medical illustrations. MedlinePlus is ad-free and does not endorse any products.
How to Use the Search Tool: Type a word or phrase into the search box, and then click the search MedlinePlus button or press the enter button on your keyboard.
Note: The search results are for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are having a medical emergency, CALL 911.
Health Resources and Information
There is a wealth of government resources and websites for health information, whether you’re researching a particular illness or condition, need to find insurance options, or want tips on healthy eating. Find trusted health information at some of the following top government websites:
- Alzheimers.gov - Learn about symptoms, treatment options, building a financial and legal plan and ways to help caregivers. English For general public and people taking care of someone with Alzheimer's.
- Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center - Find out about rare medical conditions, new treatments, and drugs. English and Spanish. For general public, health care providers, researchers, social workers, and teachers and community leaders and advocacy groups.
- Indian Health Service - Get information about the programs included in the Indian Health Service Health Care system, health topics, and health insurance. English. For American Indians and Alaska Natives, general public, health care providers and communities.
- MentalHealth.gov - Learn about on mental illness, including where to find help, and research. English and Spanish. For general public, health care providers and emergency preparedness professionals.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association - Get substance use and mental disorder information, services, and research. English and Spanish. For general public, health care providers and local communities.
- Smokefree.gov - Find information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of people trying to quit smoking. English and Spanish. For general public, health care providers and organizations.
- Vaccines.gov - Learn about vaccines and immunization for infants, children, teenagers, adults, and seniors. English and Spanish. For general public, health care providers and organizations.
- MedlinePlus for Seniors - Find a wide variety of aging-related health topics and articles created especially for seniors. English. For older adults.
- National Institute on Aging - Get research-based information on aging and senior health and wellbeing. English and Spanish. For older adults.
General Health Information:
- CDC.gov Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) - Learn about public health prevention and control services and guidelines, as well as access the A-Z Index of Diseases and Conditions. English and Spanish. For general public.
- HealthFinder.gov - Get information about health services, disease prevention, and health topics and news. English and Spanish. For general public.
- Health.gov - Find government guidelines for diet and physical activity, and learn about initiatives to improve health literacy and health care quality and safety. English and Spanish. For health care providers, researchers and policymakers.
- MedlinePlus - Powered by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this site provides descriptions of and current consumer information on hundreds of medical terms and conditions, drugs, herbs, and supplements. Find helpful videos and health check tools. English and Spanish. For general Public.
- WomensHealth.gov - Read online publications and find information on health topics specifically geared to women. English and Spanish. For general public and health care providers.
- HealthCare.gov - Find health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace. English and Spanish. For general public and small business.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - Learn about health care options with Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). English and Spanish. For general public and people eligible for Medicare, Medicaid/CHIP.
Organizations that Provide Help for People with Disabilities
The following organizations provide services and information to people with disabilities:
- The National Council on Disability (NCD) is an independent federal agency that makes recommendations to the president and Congress to improve the quality of life for Americans with disabilities and their families. The NCD works to empower individuals with disabilities and to promote equal opportunity
- The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) provides legally based advocacy services for people with disabilities in the U.S.
- The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) provides training and information for parents of children with disabilities and to people who work with them.
- The U.S. Department of Education has a list of State Special Education agencies to find educational resources and programs for people with disabilities.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity offers resources and answers questions about the housing rights of people with disabilities, and the responsibilities of housing providers and building and design professionals according to the federal law.
- National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) administers a free loan service of recorded and Braille books and magazines, music scores in Braille and large print, plus specially designed playback equipment. Service is also extended to eligible American citizens residing abroad. While NLS administers the program, direct service is provided through a national network of cooperating libraries.
- National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) is a resource center that works to help people with disabilities get healthier by participating more in all types of physical and social activities. NCHPAD also trains service providers to make their programs more inclusive.
- Special Olympics is a global organization that changes lives by promoting understanding, acceptance and inclusion among people with and without intellectual disabilities through year-round sports, health, education and community building held around the world.
- American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) removes barriers, creates solutions, and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential.
Telecommunications Relay Services
Telecommunications relay services for people with hearing or speaking disabilities link telephone conversations between individuals who use standard voice telephones and those who use the text telephones (TTYs). Calls can be made from either type of telephone to the other type through the relay service.
Local Relay Services
States provide relay services for local and long distance calls. Consult your local telephone directory or list from the FCC for information on the use, fees (if any), services, and dialing instructions for your area.
Federal Relay Service
The Federal Relay Service (FRS) is a program of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). It provides access to TTY users to conduct official business nationwide with and within the federal government. The toll-free number is 1-800-377-8642. For more information on relay communications or to obtain a brochure on using the FRS, please call toll-free 1-800-877-0996.
Other Telephone Services
If you use a TTY, you can receive operator and directory assistance for calls by calling toll-free 1-800-855-1155. Check the introductory pages of your local telephone directory for additional TTY services.
Help and Support for Caregivers
These resources and suggestions can help you find emotional and task support as a caregiver for a parent, spouse, or child with special needs.
Federal Government Caregiver Resources
- Alzheimer’s Caregiving - Learn from the National Institute on Aging how to respond to the challenges of being a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia.
- Caregiver Resources - Get a basic overview from NIH’s MedlinePlus of caregiver services and a list of resources to help you protect your own health.
- Caring for the Caregiver - This resource from the National Cancer Institute is for family and friends who are caring for a person with cancer.
- Managing Someone Else’s Money Guide - Get tips from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on how to manage your family member’s finances and property when they can’t handle their bills themselves.
- The VA Caregiver Support Line helps people caring for veterans find services and benefits for their loved one and encouraging support for themselves.
- Office of Women’s Health Caregiver Page - Get tips on how to prevent or relieve caregiver stress, and how to find and pay for home health care services.
State and Local Caregiver Support Resources
- Finding Local Services - Use this list from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to find state and local government and non-government resources including comparisons of home health agencies. Use the Eldercare Locator to help caregivers connect with senior services.
Additional Support for Caregivers
If you're not able to leave your loved one at home but need emotional support, an online support group might be a good option. Be careful not to give out detailed personal, medical, or financial information to anyone online to protect against fraud or scams.
A medical history report is a summary of your medical conditions. Insurance companies use these reports to decide if they will offer you insurance. You have the right to get a copy of your report from MIB, the company that manages and owns the reporting database.
Sources of Information for a Medical History Report
If you reported a medical condition on an insurance application, the insurer may want to report it to MIB. An insurer can only share your medical condition with MIB if you give written permission. If you do give permission, the condition will be included in your medical history report.
Your medical history report does not include your complete medical records. Doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health professionals can’t submit information to MIB. The report won’t include every diagnosis, blood test, or a list of your medicines.
A piece of information stays on your report for seven years. Your report can only be updated when you apply for an insurance policy with an MIB-member company, and give them permission to submit your medical conditions to MIB.
How Insurers Use Medical History Reports
When you apply for insurance, the insurer may ask for permission to review your medical history report. An insurance company can only access your report if you give them permission. The report contains the information you included in past insurance applications. Insurers read these reports before they'll approve applications for:
- critical illness, or
- disability insurance applications.
Request Your Free Medical History Report
You have the right to get one free copy of your medical history report, also known as your MIB consumer file, each year. You can request a copy for:
- Your minor child
- Someone else, as a legal guardian
- Someone else, as an agent under power of attorney
You can request a medical history report online from MIB or by phone at 1-866-692-6901.
Not everyone has a medical history report. Even if you currently have an insurance plan, you won't have a report if:
- You haven't applied for insurance within the last seven years
- Your insurance policy is through a group or employer policy
- The insurance company isn’t a member of MIB
- You didn’t give an insurer permission to submit your medical reports to MIB
Medical ID Reports and Scams
Use your medical history report to detect if you are a victim of medical ID theft. You may be a victim if there is a report in your name, but you haven't applied for insurance in the last seven years. Another sign of medical ID theft is if your report includes illnesses that you don't have.
File a Dispute
Review your report to verify that it only includes medical conditions that you have. Request a re-investigation if your report is incorrect. Email your dispute to email@example.com or write:
MIB Disclosure Office
50 Braintree Hill Park, Suite 400
Braintree, MA 02184.
Report unresolved disputes to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Do you have a question?
Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.
Last Updated: February 14, 2020