There are a wide variety of free health and dental programs as well as medical insurance plans. They are offered by government agencies, companies, charities, clinics, and other organizations. The services and programs will help you and your family receive high quality medical or dental care that is completely free of charge.
Children and Teenagers - The federal government has created a program that provides free (or very low cost) medical, dental, and vision care to millions of children. The Children's Health Insurance Program, which is commonly called CHIP, is available for low to moderate income families. Applicants can be working, have an income, and still receive care. More information.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - This is a federal government agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the main Federal government organization that is responsible for providing and improving access to health care services for people who are isolated, uninsured, medically vulnerable, or lower income. The organization partners with medical providers across the nation. Continue.
Medical care for uninsured - A combination of state, federal government, and non-profit organizations offer assistance to families that lack health insurance or that have limited coverage. Dozens of resources are available, including free prescription medications, coverage for pre-existing conditions, cancer screenings, basic check ups and much more. Learn more.
Senior citizens and older adults - The elderly, older Americans, and seniors can apply to government health insurance programs that focus on their specific needs. This can include the most well known, such as Medicare, but there are many others. For example, a federal government discount/savings program known as Extra Help can provide savings on medicines and other expenses. Seniors can also get help reviewing medical bills from services such as SHIP, which is a free health insurance counseling service for Medicare patients. Read more senior assistance programs.
State and local health care clinics - Many local and state governments support a wide variety of health care clinics that provide free health care to residents. It can range from free dental care, to prescription drugs, to mental health services. Community clinics and health care centers are located in most towns and cities.
State laws ensure charity health care - Several states have laws in place that ensure residents are provided heavily discounted or free health care from local hospitals if they meet certain income standards. The regulations also ensure fair billing practices for services incurred. Since many hospitals receive government funding from Medicare or Medicaid, they are often required to provide some form of services to all patients. These centers can’t turn people away. Read more.
No matter where you live, there is probably some type of health care center or community clinic near you. While each and every location will offer different services, and have qualifications that need to be met by patients, in general many of them offer some type of sliding fee or variable rate billing. This means that the care is either free (even for those without insurance) or the bills charged to a patient will be greatly reduced.
So individuals with very low incomes, or no health or dental insurance, will often qualify for free medical or dental care. There is also assistance for the unemployed that had an existing policy canceled. If you have a more moderate income, or limited insurance available, then you may need to pay a small fee or just what you can afford to pay towards your bills.
Community Clinics and Health Care Centers - Every year millions of people use a community clinic in their area to receive free or low cost, yet high quality medical or dental care. Some centers offer specialty and more complicated services too. Depending on a patients income and other qualifications, some care will be free, while some people may need to pay a minimal fee. This variable billing option is known as a sliding fee scale. No one is ever turned away, regardless of their income. Get more information on free clinics and find locations in your state.
Dental Clinics - In addition to the health care centers referenced above, there are numerous non-profit and government supported clinics that focus on offering free dental care to the low income and uninsured. A large number of services and assistance programs are provided by these dental clinics.
Those are just some examples of the centers available. Find a more extensive list, and be sure to review health care assistance programs offered by your state and local governments.
Patients have more options than just the free government sponsored health care programs indicated above. There are a number of charities and non-profit organizations that provide access to free health care. Or they will arrange other help with medical issues.
Dental Services and Care - Thousands of dentists around the nation provide the low income, people with medical conditions and disabled with free dental care. Over 3,000 locations and centers are located across the country and participate. Learn more.
EyeCare America - This assistance program is offered by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and it provides free eye care to senior citizens, children, individuals with diabetes, and people who may be at risk for glaucoma. 877-887-6327
Hearing aids - The number of resources that provide financial support for these is limited. To help fill that gap, some non-profits offer discounts or financial assistance for buying hearing aids. There may also be grants to pay for telephones and other related health care equipment. There are also a couple different state government agencies, including a few Medicaid programs, that offer discounts as well. More on programs for hearing aids.
HealthWell Foundation - This non-profit organization provides financial assistance and/or cash grants to help people pay for their health care costs and medical bills. Even if you have insurance you may be eligible to still receive some form of financial help as they may pay some or all of your health care costs. In effect qualified applicants will receive free health care from the foundation. More on the HealthWell Foundation.
Knights Templar Eye Foundation - The organization administers a health care assistance program that provides the uninsured with grants for eye surgery and check ups. (847) 490-3838
Mission of Mercy - This is a non-profit charity organization that offers patients free prescription medications and medical care. Some of the services offered can also include dental care, check ups, and more. The charity can be reached at 717-642-9062.
New Eyes for the Needy - The non-profit provide new prescription eyeglasses to poor children and adults residing in the United State. Many of the patients are living in poverty. Clients can also receive information on how they can meet other vision needs. Read more.
Non-profit organizations - Many charity and non-profits can provide financial assistance for paying health care premiums, deductibles, prescription medications, and other related health care expenses. Click here to find a listing of national non-profits that offer medical care. If a group doesn’t have financial assistance for you, many will provide suggestions or referrals on where people can turn to.
Prescription drugs for free - A wide variety of programs exist that provide patients with free medicines and prescription drugs. Get assistance from the local, state, and federal government, pharmaceutical companies, patient assistance programs, and more. Find free prescription drug programs.
Sight For Students - Provides free eye exams and glasses to children 18 years and younger whose families can’t afford to pay for vision care. Thousands of students and children benefit from the Sights for Students program every year. Dial 1-888-290-4964
VisionUSA - This organization provides free eye care to low income families as well as the uninsured who work at least part-time. People need to have some type of job when applying for aid. More on free eye exams.
Walgreens - Walgreens provides free health care and medical checkups to people who use its in store clinics. The person seeking medical help must have recently been laid off, and they need to also have been a customer of WalGreens. More.
In addition to those programs, a variety of national and regional charities provide access to free health care and can offer other help with medical issues. Many locations have counselors that can help clients apply for low cost insurance as well, such as the Affordable Care Act. Many of these will focus on certain types and specific medical conditions, such as people with cancer or diabetes. Click here for a listing of these groups.
While many people may have lost their insurance as the result of a job loss and the weak economy, and health care in general is very expensive, there are different organizations and programs to turn to. These groups can provide free health insurance or other types of medical care services.
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