Doctor examining young patient while father looks on

For many low-income people without access to health care coverage, or for those who lose their jobs and can’t maintain health care coverage, an emergency room is often the only place they receive care.

At Kaiser Permanente, we’re working to change that with programs that lower financial barriers by providing deeply subsidized health coverage and medical financial assistance for care. We also provide information about how to access and qualify for public programs such as Medicaid and financial assistance through the Marketplace to individuals who may be eligible.

Charitable Health Coverage

Kaiser Permanente’s Charitable Health Coverage programs provide subsidized health care coverage to low-income individuals and families who don’t have access to other public or private health coverage. These programs help pay for Kaiser Permanente health coverage and out-of-pocket medical costs for individuals and families who otherwise have no access to other health coverage.

Qualifying individuals are enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Individuals and Families health plan, receive a subsidy to help pay monthly premiums, and are provided financial assistance that eliminates out-of-pocket costs for most covered services provided at our facilities.

Kaiser Permanente’s Charitable Health Care programs are listed below by region:

Medical Financial Assistance

Improving health care access for those with limited incomes and resources is fundamental to Kaiser Permanente’s mission.

Our Medical Financial Assistance program helps low-income, uninsured, and underserved patients receive access to care. The program provides temporary financial assistance or free care to patients who receive health care services from our providers, regardless of whether they have health coverage or are uninsured. The program is one of the most generous in the health care industry and is available to those patients in greatest need.

Eligibility is based on financial need. The Medical Financial Assistance program covers emergency and necessary health care services, pharmacy services and products, and medical supplies provided at Kaiser Permanente facilities or by Kaiser Permanente providers. The program is not a form of health insurance and can’t be used to subsidize premiums.

To learn more about the Medical Financial Assistance program, including qualifications and how to enroll, visit the links below for the Kaiser Permanente region where you live:

Medicaid

Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) provides publicly financed health coverage for limited income and vulnerable individuals and families.

Kaiser Permanente began participating in Medicaid in the 1970s as part of our mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. Our Medicaid participation in each state is driven by how the state chooses to administer Medicaid and our ability to meet the state’s requirements. We actively partner with many of the states in which we operate to provide care for people in need.

The Affordable Care Act expanded the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid as the program is now based primarily on income. To support the expected growth of the Medicaid population, Kaiser Permanente is focused on helping our members who lose their current health coverage and who may qualify for Medicaid, transition into Medicaid with Kaiser Permanente so they can retain their physician and health care team.

We’re also working to reach out to non-members who qualify for Medicaid to inform them about their options with Kaiser Permanente.

To learn more about qualifying and enrolling in Medicaid/Medi-Cal, visit kp.org/medicaid.