Paying for Medical Care

Learn about sources of financial help for medical care.

Help with Medical Bills

Medicaid and CHIP (Health Care for Children)

What help is available?

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides help with paying medical costs for children of families who cannot afford health insurance or don't get it through their work. Learn more about eligibility and how to sign up for Medicaid and CHIP

Social Security and Medicare

What help is available?

Local Social Security Administration (SSA) offices help those on Social Security and Medicare find help.

Am I eligible?

People over 65, people with disabilities under 65, and people with end-stage kidney disease are eligible for Medicare.

How do I apply?

Visit the application site to apply for Medicare or make changes to your plan.

How do I complain/where do I call for extra help?

If you need help with Medicare including finding a plan, applying, paying for coverage or if you have a complaint, look here for extra help.

Is there anything else I need to know?

You can only sign up for Medicare at certain times of year or if your qualifying circumstances change during the year (you turn 65, etc). Learn more and watch a video explaining it.


 

Medicaid for Adults

What help is available?

You may qualify for Medicaid, a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Am I eligible?

Each state has different rules about eligibility and applying for Medicaid for adults. See if you qualify with this calculator.

How do I apply?

Each state has different application requirements for Medicaid for adults.  Call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify and to learn how to apply.

 

Health Insurance Through the Health Insurance Marketplace

What help is available?

HealthCare.gov helps you find insurance options, compare care, learn about prevention, and more. If your employer does not offer insurance, you are self-employed or you prefer to purchase your own insurance, you and your family can get health, dental, and vision insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Am I eligible?

Everyone is eligible for health insurance through the Marketplace. You may also qualify for subsidies to help pay your premiums. 2018 Open Enrollment runs from November 1, 2017, to December 15, 2017. If you’ve experienced certain life changes, like loss of a job or childbirth, you may be eligible to make changes to your health insurance in a Special Enrollment Period. Find out now.

How do I apply?

How you apply for a health plan in the Insurance Marketplace depends on what plan you choose. Learn more about applying.

How do I complain/where do I call for extra help?

For additional help with finding or applying healthcare through the Healthcare Marketplace or to make a complaint call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). This list of frequently asked questions might also have the answer that you need.

 

Is there anything else I need to know?

If you need more help with getting medical care or paying for medical care, use these resources:

  • State and Local Social Service agencies are your best resource for finding out if you qualify for any local programs in your area. Find yours now.

  • Community clinics offer free or low-cost medical services including prenatal care.

  • Clinical Trials or Research institutes including Cancer.gov or NIH.gov often list studies about certain conditions that are seeking participants.

  • Help may be available to lower the cost of your Prescription drugs and medical devices.

  • Other resources here may help you find suggestions on how to manage medical expenses.

  • Charity care programs help uninsured patients who can't afford to pay their medical bills and don't qualify for government aid. The patient services department of your local hospital can help you find out if you're eligible. Reach out to the hospital before your medical service and explain your situation. If you don't qualify, the hospital may offer you a payment plan.

  • Learn about your dental coverage options from local and state health programs, government insurance plans, dental schools, and clinical trials for people with limited incomes.

  • You may qualify for financial assistance programs to help with eye exams, surgery, prescriptions or glasses.

 

If you are uninsured or underinsured and must seek emergency medical treatment:

Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), you're guaranteed access to an emergency medical evaluation, even if you can't pay. The act requires hospitals that receive Medicare funding and that provide emergency services to evaluate anyone who comes to their emergency room and requests treatment. If the evaluation confirms that you have an emergency medical condition, including active labor, they are then required to provide stabilizing treatment for you regardless of your ability to pay

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Help with Prescription Drug Costs

What help is available?

Am I eligible?

The requirements for each program vary by state. Your state human services agency or your local health center will determine your eligibility.

How do I apply?

Your state human services agency or local health center will be able to help you with the application process. Applications and requirements vary in states and cities.

How do I complain/where do I call for extra help?

If you need additional help finding the right program for you, or you want to make a complaint about a program, contact RXAssist.

Is there anything else I need to know?

  • Contact the pharmaceutical companies that make your prescription drugs or devices, and ask for any low-cost options, samples, or discounts,

  • Learn more about finding generic drugs to lower your costs.

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Last Updated: September 12, 2017

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