Begin Main Content Area

​Common Questions

What should I do if I don't have health insurance?

Whether you are experiencing symptoms or not, now is a good time to see if you are eligible for enrollment in health care coverage. Some health programs, like Medical Assistance (MA) and CHIP will enroll you at any time throughout the year. Some health insurance coverage, like the Marketplace, may only be available if there is a Special Enrollment Period.  You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you've had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.

The Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers (PACHC) offers free, personal, no pressure, no obligation, non-biased enrollment assistance. PACHC and its network of Community Health Centers are available to assist you in navigating and enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medical Assistance (MA), Medicare and CHIP. Certified Exchange Assisters are available throughout Pennsylvania to help you enroll in these programs.  

Here is a list of exchange assisters in your area.  You can also search by using the find a health center page.  If you have additional questions or need further assistance, please contact the PACHC's Navigator Hub at 1-866-944-CARE (2273)

You can also use COMPASS to sign up for Medical Assistance.  COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs like Medicaid and CHIP.  Visit COMPASS at   

If you would prefer to research signing up for a Marketplace plan without assistance, you can visit

If you are uninsured, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act may provide reimbursement to health care providers and facilities for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

I am sick and I do not have insurance, what should I do? 

There are a variety of free and/or low-cost health care resources available to people who are uninsured, underinsured, or economically disadvantaged. The federal and non-profit organizations listed below may provide or help cover a range of medical, dental, pharmacy, vision and/or behavioral health services.

Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania

Free & Charitable Clinics are safety-net health care organizations that utilize a volunteer/staff model to provide a range of health services. Visit Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania  to find free or charitable health clinics in your area.

Federally Qualified Health Centers

Federally Qualified Health Centers  are in most cities and many rural areas. These health centers provide comprehensive primary and preventive care for all ages, regardless of your ability to pay or health insurance status.  Many health centers have COVID-19 tests available. Fees for services are on a sliding scale based on your income. Find a Federally Qualified Health Center in Pennsylvania  near you.

If you are uninsured, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act may provide reimbursement to health care providers and facilities for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

I'm an immigrant.  Is there anything else I should be thinking about? 

What is the Public Charge Rule?

The new Public Charge Rule is a federal rule that came into effect on February  24, 2020. A "public charge" is someone who needs to rely on public assistance; the rule was established to ensure that individuals can sustain themselves and not burden society.  If an individual wants to immigrate to the United States or adjust their lawful permanent residence (obtain a Green Card), the person must demonstrate that they will not be a public charge.  Under the new public charge rule, the federal government looks at certain benefits to decide if someone is a public charge, such as needing Medicaid (but not emergency services, children under 21 years, pregnant women and new mothers), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, EBT, Food Stamps), Federal Public Housing and Section 8 assistance, and cash assistance programs (like SSI, TANF, General Assistance). Please check with your legal services provider if you have any questions.  You can also learn more at

Can I get tested for COVID-19 despite the Public Charge Rule? 

Yes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services encourages all those, including undocumented individuals, with symptoms that resemble COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek necessary medical treatment and preventive services.  Immigration officials have stated that testing, treatment, and preventive care related to COVID-19 will not negatively affect an individual's public charge analysis.  To learn more visit

I am a health care provider, is there a place to learn more about National Immigration Laws?

If you are a health care provider, use this guide from the National Immigration Law Center  to learn more about the rights of health care providers and their patients.