If you've ever experienced a medical emergency, you understand how quickly medical bills can mount. Without insurance, paying for treatment or even routine medical care may seem impossible on a limited income. If you are a Texas resident, assistance is available to help you pay past due medical bills or avoid the debt entirely.
The Texas Medicaid program offers free or low-cost healthcare coverage to families and individuals who meet the eligibility criteria. Medicaid is available to pregnant women, children up to 19, parents with children living in the household, adults over age 65, and disabled or blind individuals. Income limits are set based on eligibility group and number of people living in a household. Medicaid covers various medical and dental services, including routine and emergency care. Medical bills acquired prior to Medicaid approval may also be covered depending on the date of treatment. If you have excessive medical bills, you may be eligible for the Share of Cost program. Applicants with an income too high to qualify can deduct a portion of their paid medical expenses to fall below the limit.
Women's Health Program
If you are a woman not eligible for traditional Medicaid, you can receive women's health related services through the Medicaid Women's Health Program. The program is only available to Texas women ages of 18 to 44 with limited income. Services include family planning, such as various birth control methods and pap smears. At the time of publication, a household of two cannot have an income exceeding $2,247 a month. Once determined eligible for the program, you will receive a year of services. You must reapply annually. Contact the Texas Health and Services Commission to apply.
If you do not have insurance, you can obtain free or low cost dental and health care from community clinics located throughout Texas. The type of services you can receive range depending on the clinic. Generally, clinics offer check-ups, referrals for speciality treatment, immunizations and prescriptions. To locate a clinic near you, contact the National Association of Free Clinics or Lone Star Association of Charitable Clinics.
You can apply for help to cover medical bills by contacting a non-profit charity. The Texas Salvation Army offices help with emergency services, including financial help for medical bills. Catholic Charities of Dallas provides elderly and family services, such as health screenings to people who cannot afford the cost of medical care. Financial assistance is granted to help people who cannot afford basic needs. Local churches may also have funds available to help those in a financial crisis.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.