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Help for the Uninsured

If you do not have health insurance, find out about low-cost or no-cost health insurance and other resources for you and your family. There are many resources in California. The ones listed here may help you.

The California Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, was created under health care reform and helps the uninsured and people with low to moderate incomes get health insurance.

If you do not have health insurance, Covered California can help you determine if you qualify for Medi-Cal or federal subsidies, and can provide you with coverage options and plan costs. You can contact Covered California by phone at (800) 300-1506, TTY: (888) 889-4500 or by visiting their website at www.coveredca.com

Resources for People with Low or No Incomes

AIM Program (Access for Infants and Mothers)
A state program with low-cost health insurance for low- and middle-income pregnant women and their newborns
1-800-433-2611 (many languages)
www.aim.ca.gov (Spanish)

CaliforniaKids
Healthcare foundation that provides premium subsidized health care services to children ages 2 - 18
1-818-755-9700
www.californiakids.org

County Medical Services Program (CMSP)
County program with health care for people who qualify because of low incomes
Contact your local county health department
www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/medi-cal/Pages/CountyOffices.aspx

Family Pact
Family planning and reproductive services
1-800-942-1054
http://www.familypact.org/

Find a Health Center

Use this website to find a federal health center near you. These centers care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. Health centers are in most cities and many rural areas.
http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov

Healthy Families
Due to a state law change, the Healthy Families Program stopped enrolling children on December 31, 2012. During 2013, all children enrolled in the Healthy Families Program were transitioned to the Medi-Cal Program.
1-800-880-5305 (many languages)
www.healthyfamilies.ca.gov (Spanish)

Health Consumer Alliance
Consumer assistance programs to help people with low incomes get the health care they need
1-888-804-3536 (many languages)
1-877-735-2929 (TTY)
www.healthconsumer.org/

Medi-Cal
State and federal program with health care for people who qualify because of low or no incomes and/or costly disabilities. To apply for Medi-Cal contact your county social services office.
www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/default.aspx

General Resources

California’s Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California
Health coverage marketplace that provides you with coverage options and plan costs.
(800) 300-1506
(888) 889-4500 (TTY)
www.coveredca.com

Coverage for All
Help finding no-cost and low-cost health care for individuals, families and small businesses
www.coverageforall.org

Health Consumer Alliance
Consumer assistance programs to help people with low incomes get the health care they need
1-888-804-3536 (many languages)
1-877-735-2929 (TTY)
www.healthconsumer.org/

MRMIP (California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program)
Due to federal law change, MRMIP is shutting down on June 30, 2014.
1-800-289-6574 (many languages)
1-800-735-2929 (TTY)
www.mrmib.ca.gov

Know Your Costs

If you need medical care and you have to pay for it yourself, try to find out how much you will have to pay. Sometimes it is hard to find out costs. And there may be more than one charge, such as one charge from the doctor and another from the hospital or clinic.

  • Ask your doctor, hospital, or other provider what the service will cost.
  • Ask if there is a discount for people who pay with cash or credit card. Ask if you can make payments.
  • Every hospital must provide a list of its 25 most common procedures. These include inpatient services, like hip surgery, as well as outpatient services, like cataract surgery or colonoscopy. You can read these lists on the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development website.
  • The law says that a hospital must give you a written estimate of hospital charges if you do not have insurance. The hospital must also give you information on financial aid programs and charity care.