Friday, September 23, 2022

How Low-Income Americans Can Access Healthcare

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 40 million people in the United States live in poverty. That means a family of four struggles to get by on less than $24,000 a year. And while there are many programs and services available to help low-income Americans, accessing them can be a challenge.

The Healthcare Gap

One of the biggest challenges for struggling Americans is finding affordable healthcare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to help make healthcare more affordable. However, there are still many people who struggle to pay their premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. 

If you or someone you care for is facing this situation, finding a healthcare advocate or community resource can help. They have access to a wide variety of resources and have the connections and know-how to help you navigate what can often be a tedious and confusing process.

Common Solutions

There are programs available to help low-income Americans pay for their healthcare. For example, Medicaid is a government program that provides free or low-cost health insurance for eligible adults and children. 

If you live in a state that has expanded Medicaid under the ACA, you may be able to get coverage even if your income is slightly above the poverty level. 

Medicaid plans will vary by state, so reach out to your state's Medicare administration office and find out what you need to do to qualify.


Another option is to contact your state’s health insurance marketplace. If you qualify for a subsidy, you may be able to get help paying for your premiums

You can also shop for private health insurance plans on the marketplace. As we've mentioned, some people still have trouble paying those premiums, as plans with low monthly premiums may be offset by higher annual deductibles and co-pays. 

This is another situation where a healthcare advocate could help you sort through the best options for your situation.


If you need help paying for prescriptions, there are programs available to assist with that as well. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help you find assistance programs that offer free or low-cost medications. 

There are also prescription assistance programs offered by many pharmaceutical companies. And if you’re a senior citizen on a fixed income, you may be eligible for the Extra Help program through Medicare, which can help you pay for your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

Community Resources

There are also community resources that can help low-income Americans access healthcare. These include free or low-cost clinics, community health centers, and faith-based organizations. 

You can use the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Find a Health Center tool to find community health centers near you. 

Many of these organizations offer sliding-scale fees based on your income, so even if you don’t have insurance, you may still be able to get the care you need.

If you struggle to access healthcare, know that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you get the care you need. And while it may seem daunting at first, reaching out for help is an important first step.

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