For individuals who qualify for Medicaid, free or low-cost outpatient surgery is available in every U.S. state except Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. To learn if you qualify, visit HealthCare.gov, as the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services explains.
Each state manages its own Medicaid enrollment, and service availability varies, states the CMS. Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services maintains a directory of community health centers that provide referrals to local providers at HealthCare.gov.
Surgery on Sunday is another resource for low-income individuals who need surgery and are uninsured, underinsured or don't qualify for government aid. Located at the Lexington Surgery Center in Lexington, Kentucky, the nonprofit serves people whose income is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty guidelines and are referred by a primary care provider, as Surgery on Sunday reports. While patients usually must live within a 250-mile radius of Lexington to receive treatment at the center, those who live outside the service area are accepted on a case-by-case basis following board approval. The staff performs surgery one Sunday each month.
Free surgery is also available for qualifying individuals in other locations throughout the United States, as the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association reports. For example, the Tri-Cities Surgery Center in Geneva, Illinois, provides surgical care to uninsured or underinsured low-income individuals. Peak One Surgery Center in Frisco, Colorado, also hosts an annual charity day during which it provides surgical procedures free of charge.