Courtesy of Whitehouse.gov
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health Interview Survey, 46.3 million people are uninsured. Of this number 21 percent are persons 18 to 64 and 8.2 percent are children under 18. 80 percent of the persons between 18 and 64 years of age do not have health insurance because they are self-employed or their jobs do not offer healthcare as a benefit. On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the historic health care bill into law, which allowed many changes to the health care landscape in America. Some may view having health care for all as socialist, but for the millions of Americans who cannot afford to get good healthcare for themselves or their families, the new law may just be a godsend.
"The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is an agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health care service for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable," according to the HRSA website. HRSA also says because of this agency, tens of millions of Americans can get health care through its 80-plus programs and 3, 000 grantees. The Agency, sponsors the "Hill-Burton Free and Reduced-Cost Health Care" programs all across the United states. If you need free healthcare, the new health care law has made it that much easier for you.
Things You Will Need
W2 tax forms
Go to the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) website. There is a list of 192 "Hill-Burton" Facilities who are OBLIGATED to provide free or low-cost health care. There should be one located in your city or state. You can also call Hill-Burton hotline at 1-800-638-0742 and 1-800-492-0359 for those in Maryland.
Check with your state's department of health or visit their website online. Usually, your state's department of health will have a list of places and resources. It's best for you to make an appointment or call them directly, but you can get good information from your state's department of health website. When applying to programs, keep in mind that many of them may have a waiting list. Most of them will require you to qualify by providing proof that you fall below the poverty line.
Find out if you qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is both federally and state funded and is designed to help individuals and families in need. You can get insurance so you can have access to quality healthcare if you qualify for Medicaid. You will need to submit proof of income. If you have no proof of income, or no job, it is best to contact Medicaid to discuss your options. Since Medicaid is state administered, you should contact them through your state's department of health office or you can call 800-465-3203.
Check with your state's department of health about the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Children are usually covered for all services. You may only need to pay a small fee to cover co-payments for office and specialist visits. You, as the parent would have to provide financial proof that you need this assistance.
Go to hospitals in your city or state and ask them if they sponsor a "free care" program. A free care programs acts just like a normal patient-health facility relationship. You go there to get all your primary care needs taken care of, you get a "membership" card and all your services are free. Just like any other free or low cost programs, you will have to provide proof that you fall below the poverty line in order to qualify for free care.
Go to a community health center. Your local community health center usually offers free or low cost health care. They may also ask you to verify your income, but each health center's processes and procedures are different. You will need to check into specific health centers in your city or town to see what free services they offer and how you should go about applying for them.
Go to your local religious organizations and ask them if they have any resources for people who cannot afford to pay for insurance. Sometimes religious-based hospitals and clinic will give free health care to people who cannot afford health insurance. Each city and state is different so you will have to inquire in your specific city or state.
Look online for the National Association of Free Clinics, NAFC. On their website, you can find a list of free clinics across the country. Do a search and find a free clinic in your neighborhood.
You should not have to buy insurance in order to be treated when you are sick. Nor should you have to worry about going bankrupt because of insurmountable medical bills. These options help you find good quality free and low cost health care in all 50 states.