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Is there such thing as free health insurance?

people holding question marks wondering about free health insuranceIt may sound too good to be true, but there is actually such a thing as free health insurance! Of course, as with everything in life, you must meet certain terms and conditions in order to get this free health insurance. It’s definitely worth looking into this option, as health insurance can cost quite a bit of money.

If you don’t qualify for free health insurance quotes, you’ll definitely want to type your zip code above so we can find you great rates from the best insurance providers!

The federal government funds some healthcare programs that are free for qualifying applicants. These programs include Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP. Individuals and families qualify based on factors such as age, disabilities, and income. In order to be eligible for free, federally funded health insurance, you must not have any other health insurance coverage.

There’s a chance that more citizens will have access to free or reduced-price health insurance in the years to come, depending on a hot-topic debate currently going on in the government. Some legislators think that this coverage should be increased to help more people, while others are very much against the idea.

Where can I get free health insurance?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration website offers a “Find a Health Center” locator, whereby you can enter your zip code and find the closest free or low-cost health center. At these clinics, you pay what you can afford, based on your finances. Services include:

  • Well visits
  • Sick visits
  • Neo-natal and maternity care
  • Dental care
  • Prescription coverage
  • Children’s immunizations
  • Checkups for children
  • Substance abuse help
  • Mental health care

Note that these community health centers do require you to pay on a sliding scale, based on your income. If you have any questions on this, use the locator to find your nearest clinic and then speak to a representative there.

There are also hospitals and medical centers scattered throughout the United States that offer free healthcare under the Hill-Burton program. In order to qualify, you and your family must be at or below the federal poverty guidelines as defined by the Department of Health & Human Services. You can get reduced price care if your income is two times as much as the federal poverty level, or less.

What is the Hill-Burton program?

The Hill-Burton program is also known as the Hospital Survey and Construction Act, and was introduced in 1946 as an amendment to the U.S. Public Health Service Act. It originally authorized states to assess their hospital and medical centers and determine whether they needed to build more of them, and gave them grants to do it.

Later, Hill-Burton was expanded so that the federal government paid a bigger chunk of the cost of any medical center construction projects. The expansion also allowed for the construction of treatment centers, nursing homes, and other healthcare resources, as well as the ability to update any aging hospitals.

In return for the federal help, the states agreed to provide limited healthcare services to people unable to otherwise pay for them. This is open to all residents of the regions surrounding the designated facilities. Unfortunately, in 1997, the program stopped providing money, but the approximately 200 facilities around the United States still have to provide the medical care at reduced rates or for no cost at all.

Are there free health insurance programs for children?

CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, is a state-issued health insurance plan for children ages 19 and under. CHIP is both federally funded and funded by the state in which it’s issued. Although the federal government typically chips in four times as much as the state does.

Depending on your income, this may be free or at a reduced rate for your children. All children must:

  • Be citizens of the United States
  • Not currently covered by any other health insurance policy
  • Eligible for Medicaid

CHIP is pretty comprehensive for kids, offering:

  • Doctor visits
  • Wellness checkups
  • Hospital and emergency care
  • Sick office visits
  • Dental care
  • Hearing and vision exams
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Mental health services

Check with your state’s Department of Health and Human Services to see if it participates in a CHIP program and, if so, what the terms and requirements of the plan are.

The thinking behind any of these free health insurance programs is that healthy people cost companies, and possibly the government, less in wages and productivity lost to sick visits and other medical events. So it’s an investment in a healthier future.

Not everybody can qualify for free health insurance rates, but everybody can check to see the health insurance providers in their area by entering their zip code below!