To get help for medical bills, apply and get approved for Medicaid. Approved applicants can get retroactive coverage for up to three months of past medical bills if they had a low enough income threshold to qualify during that time.
- Determine eligibility for Medicaid coverage
Some states have expanded Medicaid coverage to include low-income adults, so in these states you merely need to fit the income guidelines. The maximum income limits vary based on household size. For states that have not expanded Medicaid, you might not qualify unless you are disabled, pregnant or responsible for minor children. If you are not sure if you qualify, it is a good idea to apply anyway.
- Apply for coverage
You can do this online through the government's Health Insurance Marketplace. You may need to mail in supporting documents such as paycheck stubs or tax return information, especially if you are applying for retroactive coverage.
- See if you can get covered while you wait
Certain groups, such as low-income children in Head Start programs, can get presumptive coverage while waiting on approval. This means that the government presumes you qualify and covers your medical expenses until you are approved or denied so that you do not miss important appointments.