We all know that health care is expensive. The Affordable Care Act has made care more affordable for many lower-income patients over the past three years through cost-sharing reductions and tax credits on the health insurance marketplaces and through Medicaid expansion. However, 18 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid, leaving many people in a coverage gap, and many others who are eligible for subsidies or Medicaid remain uninsured. At the same time, trends in job-sponsored coverage show that those with employer coverage are facing higher health care costs, often in the form of high deductibles.
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Some states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels. You can apply for Medicaid any time of year — Medicaid and CHIP do not have Open Enrollment Periods. You can find out if you qualify and learn how to apply here: https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/getting-medicaid-chip/
Even if you do not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, there may still be resources that can help you get the care that you need. Below are some links to help you find free or low-cost health care near you.