20 answers

Low Cost or Free Health Insurance

hello mother's, i'm looking for a free or a low cost health insurance.I have 3 kids 6,4,3 and myself without any health insurance since july 2009. We we're in medi-cal insurace before but they denied us due to my husband's income. He's a salesman paid by commission and not hourly; medi-cal denied us for this cause. He's company medical insurance is way too expensive and we can't afford an additional $300.00 per month for all 5 of us. Could you help? Would really appreciate your advise. Thanks!

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Featured Answers

Try Healthy Families. Swartenager somehow managed to save it and it is designed for families just like you.


My brother, sister-in-law and niece didn't qualify for healthy families, but they got a good deal through kaiser.
Best of luck,

More Answers

Hi M. -

You might want to check in with the Healthy Kids program. It is income eligible, but is available for children if they qualify.
Other than that, I do not know of any insurance you can get under $300 month. Good luck!

This is why Obama needs to do something. However, I'm becoming a little doubtful...

Dear M.,
Usually, if you don't qualify for Medi-Cal, they will give you information about the Healthy Families program. It only covers the children though. Their website with phone number and income guidelines can be found at

I know several kids on that program. My son was on it for a while, but my income dropped, so we were switched to medi-cal. Definitely check into the Kaiser option as well. I know that at one time, Blue Cross and Blue Shield both had relatively inexpensive plans for individuals. They were cheaper because they didn't have maternity or name brand drug benefits, but they did have out of pocket maximums, meaning, once you've paid X amount out of pocket in a calendar year, the policy pays 100% after that. The problem with those "individual" plans is that you have to go through underwriting and they can deny you if you've got certain conditions in your health history.

Best of luck and wishes to you!

For the kids you could do the Child Health Plan depending on your husbands income you would either pay $8.00 or $16.00 per child. Another option for the kids is the Healthy Families. Unfortunately, I don't know of anything for you. We are in the same boat, we pay over $300 a month for my insuance through my husband and only $24. for the kids through Kaisers Child Health Plan.

Try Healthy Families. Swartenager somehow managed to save it and it is designed for families just like you.


Hi M.,

I've looked into Healthy Familes for my family, and it is just as much as you would be paying for your husband's Ins.

I would double-check, I don't think Medical can DENY your kids, only you. So, I would confirm that....you could just have yourself to worry about.

I have done ALOT of researching on this subject over a 2 year period of time, and there is nothing out there better than the Kaiser suggestion, but only if you qualify.

This is such a sad situation for all of us....

Good Luck....

~N. :O)

My brother, sister-in-law and niece didn't qualify for healthy families, but they got a good deal through kaiser.
Best of luck,

Hello! You might want to try a insurance called "Healthy Families".its the next step up from Medi-cal and have a VERY low monthly payment (it's something like $5/person or something). Or, if you don't qualify for that, Kaiser has a low-income health plan for children. Go to their website, KP.org and there should be a place for it.if you can't find it, call their number and ask about it, they'll transfer you to the appropriate person. Its also VERY low cost with only $5 co-pays or none at all and they're income guidelines are much higher than other programs so you're almost sure to qualify. Those are the only two that I know of. Good luck to you and I hope I was able to help!

Try Healthy Families, CA.
The insurance is based on income and you can make profit/loss statements to verify income. Find out the income qualifications on their website and you can fix your p/l to fit the qualifications.
Very cheap for the kids, about $20 a month each, and the third month free when you pay in advance, for excellent insurance. Unfortunately mom is not covered, unless she is pregnant. Good luck, feel free to contact me directly if you need help ____@____.com.

Heathy Families will probably be able to help you. They are there for families that don't qualify for Medical, but can't afford private insurance through work.

First I cannot believe there is another M. out there that spells her name like me! Awesome. What's even more strange is that my husband is also a salesman paid on 100% commission and we are in the same boat with sales down and my husband's employer pays for NOTHING - no phone, no office supplies, no mileage - and they took away his base salary to boot in July! Needless to say, the job search is on.

We are currently on Healthy Families in the top income bracket and we barely made it. Budgeting gets hard because there are some months you will probably exceed the monthly income guidelines, but average, you probably won't - that's what happened with us. I included a letter explaining the situation with my husband's job with my application and I don't know if it helped, but I had no problem getting on the plan. For two kids it's $18/mo, but I get to pay $13 because I do auto deduct - $5 copay. My understanding is that premiums and copays will be going up due to the CA budget issue, but frankly that's fine with me during this tough time - I can't imagine it would be more than the $100 per child with $40 copay I had before.

I have no intention of being on HF forever. Just until either my husband finds a better paying/steady job and we financially recover from the last few years. This has been such a blessing for us this past year. This allows me to keep my Blue Shield Plan which is essentially a low cost co-insurance plan with a high copay and coverage for catastrophic and X amount of office visits (preventative & illness) per year. Husband is partially covered at work. Be prepared that you may have to change MDs or Dentists - they are strict about that, but the quality of care that my kids have gotten thus far has been great. We are lucky that our pediatrician takes the HF Blue Cross (which I picked for just that reason). But we do have to change dentists.

Good luck - message me with any questions you have. And like I said before - cool name! :-)

I know you were denied for Medi-Cal but have you looked at Healthy Families? Their income level for a family of 5 ranges from $4,300-$5,373 max.

You may also see if your husbands company offers more than one plan option. If so, he may be able to downgrade his plan and enroll the family for a lesser premium. We are seeing that carriers are allowing mid-year changes much more often as a result of this economy. It is worth looking into to see if it is an option.

Luckily, our children are on Healthy Families. Unfortunately, the last I heard, they are not accepting new enrollments and are putting families on a waiting list. Good luck! This is exactly why President Obama needs to do something QUICK!!

I made too much for Healthy Families so I went to Kaiser and I pay $8 a month and a $5 co-pay. Check out their program for low income kids. It's been a godsend. :)

I heard recently about a program called "healthy Families". I beleive they offered low cost insurance. However, with so many people out of work these days I have no idea if this program is still around or not. Someone recently told me about a group health ins program(for anyone) thru Costco or Sam's Club...not sure which??
They offer group pricing for memebers?? I know my employers have this program(but it is for small business employers) It's not the best insurance but I guess I should be grateful to have any insurance at all. Or a job for that matter....
I know about 10 yrs ago, we were self employed & health insurance for our kids was more than our mortgage payment every month...we ended up homeless. and I wish I were kidding.
This type of thing should not be happening in this country but it does everyday. I just read an article that said in the LA area the offered some FREE health care @ the Forum, by 1am (the night before) they had already exceeded the amount of people they could help.People stood in the parking lot all day to be seen in weather over 100 degree's....sorry i got carried away..(it's just so upsetting). I hope you can find healthcare for your kids....
Good Luck
p.s. I thought that the state of california had a law about kids under age 12 being covered if no ins is available to them. Medical should cover the kids. I was pregnant years ago (23) and did not have insurance. Even though they did not cover me, they did cover the baby ( and me as long as i was pregnant)...The kids should be covered by the state medi-cal either way....check it out

Yes I do kow of low cost insurance... it's called Samaritan Ministries, see link below...


They a re co-op, and your low monthly contribution actually pays a medical bill... then, if you need, others pay your bill. Check it out.. it's the real deal, used it for years. Also know of SEVERAL families that have used it as well.
Good luck!~

There is no free or low-cost health insurance except Medi-cal. If you call your county Department of Social Services, you might find some free programs for specific things, but that's probably about it. You and millions of other people in this country are in the same boat. The US is the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't have health care for everyone. It's barbaric, really.

We are on Kaiser's healthy family plan. It is based on income also but it sounds like your kids can qualify. You can go to kp.org to request paperwork. My son's insurance for the two of them is $15 a month. And if we were to have anymore their cost would be free. I highly recomd checking it out. As for you kaiser also has plans that have a low monthly rate but a deductable. I am working on getting one of these plans. I hate the deductable but any insurance is better than none and I don't go to the doctor that often anyway so it weighs out with having a big copay too. Good luck! If you find anyother insurance plans, please let us know!!

We have Kaiser for kids. It only covers the kids, but it's cheap. We pay $24 a month for 4 children. It's $8.00 per child per month for the first 3 children, all other kids are free. The co-pays are only $5.00 a visit, RX is about $10.00 and we had to go to the emergency room the other day and that cost $35 out of pocket. They will only accept you if you don't qualify for Medi-Cal. It's income based, so you would have to see if you qualify. It also includes dental coverage for a percentage, I'm not quite sure what that is.

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