An article in the October 14, 2009 issue of Time magazine reported that 46.3 million people in the US had no health insurance. Many people struggle to pay for the medical care they need, including surgery for various conditions.
Some low-income people qualify for Medicaid, a state administered program available in all 50 states. Medicaid covers a variety of medical needs, including surgery.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance to uninsured children from low-income families that do not qualify for Medicaid. It covers surgery for children.
The Hill-Burton Act requires hospitals that received federal money for construction to provide a reasonable amount of free care to patients. Patients must have incomes at or below the poverty limit to qualify.
Discounts from Health Care Providers
Health care providers sometimes offer discounted services to low-income patients. Most hospitals have programs to offer reduced cost care based on a patient’s income, and many doctors provide low cost services for some patients. Patients in need should talk to their health care providers.
Private foundations sometimes help pay for surgery for low-income patients. For instance, the Lions Club helps patients pay for eye surgery. The Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund helps patients with insurance co-pays for cancer treatment, including cancer surgery.
Mike Andrews is a freelance writer and serial entrepreneur focused on small-business and entrepreneurship for average people. He holds a bachelor's degree in biblical studies and a master's degree in theology and has appeared in a wide array of print and online periodicals including "HiCall," "Mature Living" and "Caregivers Home Companion."