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 will begin in January 2014. It was created under health reform and it will help people with low to moderate incomes get health insurance.
If you cannot find a health plan because you have a serious medical condition, learn about MRMIP and PCIP, insurance programs for people who have been denied insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions.
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)
Healthcare foundation that provides premium subsidized health care services to children ages 2 - 18
County Medical Services Program (CMSP)
County program with health care for people who qualify because of low incomes
Contact your local county health department
Family planning and reproductive services
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.
State program with low-cost health and dental insurance for children in low-income families
1-800-880-5305 (many languages)
Health Consumer Alliance
Local health consumer centers in each county to help all Californians get essential health care
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.
Coverage for All
Help finding no-cost and low-cost health care for individuals, families and small businesses
MRMIP (California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program)
Information on California's insurance program for people with serious health problems who have difficulty buying individual health insurance because of their medical history
1-800-289-6574 (many languages)
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.