Do you lack health insurance? There are a number of free and discounted services that you may qualify for, including free urgent care clinics and help with paying for your medications or health insurance. To find resources in North Carolina that provide free services or financial assistance for medical cost, see below. To learn about health insurance in general, check out our Health Insurance page. To find a free and low-cost clinic nearby, check out the free Clinic Locator app.
What Health Insurance Options Are Available to Me?
- North Carolina ePASS lets individuals and families learn about and apply for available benefits and services.
- To receive a personalized list of health coverage options in 5 easy steps, go to Coverageforall.org and take their Quiz to get started.
- Benefits Finder is another tool you can use to learn what benefits are available to you.
Free and Discounted Medical Services
- To locate a clinic closest to where you live, search The North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics database.
- To find a dentist, search this database provided by NC211.org.
- The Department of Health and Human Resources Provides funds to Health Centers, hospitals, and other care facilities to help people get health care they can afford. To see if these are offered in your area, see below.
- Find a Health Center: Health Centers provides health and dental care to people of all ages, whether or not they have health insurance or the money to pay for health care.
- Find Hospitals and Other Facilities: Hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities are required to provide a specific amount of free or below-cost health care to people unable to pay. Eligibility is based on the size of your family and your income.
- Find HIV/AIDS Care: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Programs are one option for uninsured and under-insured people living with HIV/AIDS for primary health care and support services.
Insurance Solutions for People with Pre-existing Conditions
Southeast Insurance Solutions Offers affordable health insurance coverage for North Carolinians who do not have access to an employer sponsored health plan and whom have been denied individual coverage, had benefits excluded and/or have higher premiums because of pre-existing medical conditions. Go to Inclusive Health – NC Health Insurance Risk Pool to see if you are eligible.
Benefits for People with Disabilities
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs provide assistance to people with disabilities. To see if you qualify, go to Benefits for People with Disabilities.
Prescription Medicine Assistance
There are several programs that can help you pay for all or part of your medications:
- Medicine Assistance Tool (Helps qualifying patients who are uninsured or underinsured get free or nearly free medicines through the public or private program that’s right for them)
- NC MedAssist (provides free prescription medication to North Carolina residents who are low-income, uninsured and fall at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level)
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT) is a search engine designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs)
- NeedyMeds (Is a national non-profit information resource dedicated to helping people locate assistance programs to help them afford their medications and other healthcare cost)
Free Medical Services for Kids
- Insure Kids Now is a state and federal government program that provides medical, dental and psychological care for children who qualify. To see if you or your child qualifies, go to Children’s Health Coverage Programs in North Carolina.
- NC Health Choice for Children is a health insurance plan that covers hospitalization and outpatient care for children of families that qualify.
- To learn about managing finances while caring for a sick child, see Financial Management During Crisis provided by The Nemours Foundation.
Health Care Cost Comparison
- Healthcare Bluebook’s Fair Price shows you the reasonable amount you should pay for a medical service. It’s calculated from a nationwide database of medical payment data and customized to your geographic area.
- Estimate your healthcare expenses at FAIR Health, Inc. Get essential information on costs for thousands of procedures and learn about insurance basics.
- GoodRx collects and compares prices and discounts from over 60,000 pharmacies. You can also print coupons, or send them to your phone, to get discounts on your prescription medications.
- NerdWallet lets you compare health insurance quotes for individual health plans. It will show plans that are offered by state and federal health insurance marketplaces.
More Information on Free & Reduced Cost Services
To read about Financial Assistance in general, and where to find more free and reduced cost services, go to MedlinePlus.
Resources selected by Linda Johnsen, Health Sciences Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Last reviewed August 6, 2019