Resources for the Uninsured and Underinsured - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Resources for the Uninsured and Underinsured


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Anyone without health insurance and in need of healthcare should find out if they are eligible for Medicaid. If not, the following resources may offer limited assistance for certain services and needs. 

Hospital care

Hospitals are required by law to stabilize anyone in an emergency, but generally not to provide follow-up care. Anyone without health insurance or the means to pay regular hospital charges should ask about discounted rates, payment plans, and especially their policy regarding care for the uninsured. In addition, you may be eligible for free or reduced cost services from certain hospitals if your income is below the federal poverty line through the Hill Burton Program.   

Community health centers

Although there is no guarantee that a person without health insurance or the ability to pay can get ongoing care for a chronic illness, government-funded community health centers  provide routine and preventive healthcare to anyone in need at low or no cost. The centers are scattered across the country, have different names, and differ in the types of services they provide. Call the federal government’s Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) at 1-888-ASK-HRSA, or go to ASK HRSA online find a community health center near you.

Cancer screening and other preventive health

Even people without health insurance can and should keep up-to-date with their recommended cancer screenings and tests for serious conditions. Community cancer centers typically offer cancer screenings for free or on a sliding scale basis, and others may help prevent or identify high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and more. Your local newspaper, state health department or medical society will usually know when and where these services or health fairs are scheduled in your community.

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program offers breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services at no cost to eligible individuals in all 50 states. Visit the NBCCEDP website and click on your state to find providers where you live.