Access to Health Insurance
At the San Francisco Free Clinic, we provide a safety net for people without health insurance—providing medical care for the uninsured.
We strongly believe that everyone should have health insurance, and if you do not, we can help you explore your insurance options, while providing the care you need until you have coverage.
Just call us at (415) 750-9894 for an appointment with our social worker, who is a certified Covered California enrollment counselor.
Covered California is the place for Californians to buy insurance as set up by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Some people call this Obamacare. You can buy private brand-name health insurance through this exchange -- if your income is below a certain level, you may qualify for a discount, or you may be directed to apply for Medi-Cal.
You can apply directly online, or you can get some help in this process by making an appointment with our social worker.
You may qualify for Healthy San Francisco (HSF) if you are uninsured, are below a certain income, and live in San Francisco. HSF is not officially health insurance, but it does provide excellent access to health care in San Francisco, including coverage for primary care, hospitalizations, emergency care, medication, and mental health care. You can apply in person for HSF at an enrollment site. (Unfortunately, our clinic does not assist with this enrollment.)
Medi-Cal (California's version of Medicaid) is free or low-cost health insurance for people below a certain income.
Medi-Cal provides full health insurance benefits, including primary care, hospitalizations, medications, emergency care, and mental health coverage. There are many Medi-Cal providers in San Francisco, including clinics at UCSF and CPMC.
Most people 65 and older will automatically receive benefits from Medicare. Medicare provides hospital insurance (Part A) and outpatient medical insurance (Part B). Most people will receive Part A automatically if they have contributed enough money while working. Most people will need to pay for Part B, although there are sometimes government subsidies that assist with this cost.
If you are 65 and older and have not already looked into your Medicare coverage, we encourage you to get help in figuring out your benefits, which can be complicated! HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program provides free counseling about Medicare benefits. You can reach them by phone at 1-800-434-0222.