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4 Government Programs That Can Help You With Your Medical Bills

Written by: Imelda Bouchard

A survey found that about half of American adults struggle to afford healthcare. It further suggests that due to cost, one in four adults have postponed or skipped needed healthcare in the past twelve months. While uninsured adults and low-income earners are highly likely to report difficulties affording medical expenses, the insured and high-income earners aren’t immune to the rising costs of medical care.

Fortunately, the government has several programs that provide free or low-priced medical services. Discussed below are four government programs that can help you with your medical bills.

  1. Medicare

Medicare, a federal health insurance program, caters to surgeries, like scoliosis surgery procedures, doctor visits, and other medical services to keep people healthy as they age. Although 65 is the minimum age for Medicare, others below this age may qualify for the program if they have:

  • Disabilities
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Medicare has different parts, each providing varying forms of health care coverage. Learning more about these parts can help you choose one suitable for your needs. If you’re already getting Social Security benefits, medicare enrollment is automatic. If not, check the designated enrollment periods to sign up. Sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period to avoid late enrollment penalties.

  1. Medicaid

Medicaid is a public health insurance program jointly funded by the state and federal governments. It’s America's primary healthcare coverage source, covering low-income individuals and families. Subject to federal guidelines, states manage the Medicaid program and have the flexibility to decide the services and populations to cover, how to provide care, and the amounts to reimburse providers. Medicaid covers specific groups of people, including;

  • Low-income families
  • Children and eligible pregnant women
  • Persons getting Supplemental Security Income

Medicaid also offers coverage to Medicare beneficiaries with low incomes to help them pay for:

  • Cost Sharing
  • Premiums
  • Services that Medicare doesn’t cover
  1. Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP)

CHIP offers medical coverage to children from families whose incomes are too high to be eligible for Medicaid but too low to pay for private coverage. The program is funded by federal and state governments and is managed by states as per federal requirements. For a child to be eligible for CHIP, they must be:

  • Below 19 years of age
  • An American citizen or attain immigration requirements
  • A state resident, and
  • Qualified within that state’s CHIP income scale, depending on family income and other specific state laws in the state’s CHIP plan

States can offer coverage, including postpartum, delivery, and prenatal care, to uninsured, low-income pregnant women under the CHIP plan. Children born to pregnant women covered under CHIP should be automatically considered eligible for CHIP or Medicaid without further eligibility determination or application. These children are covered till they turn a year old.

  1. Health Insurance Marketplace

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a federal government-run service that helps families, small businesses, and individuals to:

  • Compare medical insurance plans for affordability and coverage
  • Discover tax credits for healthcare programs, like CHIP or Medicaid, and private insurance
  • Change or sign up for a health insurance plan

The health plans in the Marketplace offer similar sets of crucial health benefits, such as:

  • Preventive care
  • Doctor visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Hospitalization and more

With a single application, you can determine if you qualify for low-cost or free coverage via CHIP, Medicaid, or Marketplace plan savings.


The government offers several programs to cushion those struggling with healthcare expenses. Government programs that can help with medical bills include Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Imelda Bouchard
Imelda Bouchard is the owner of Gov Relations. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration in Finance​ at the University of Houston-Downtown. Imelda has over a decade of experience working in the finance industry. Following her stint at an international fintech company, she has decided to create a platform where businesses can make use of great business ideas.

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