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Information For Recent Immigrants

No Health Insurance? There’s Help for You!
How can you see the doctor if you don’t have health insurance?

Public Health Insurance

In Queens, there are several programs to help you

Programs for Citizens/Legal Immigrants*

  • Child Health Plus
  • Emergency Medicaid
  • EPIC
  • Family Health Plus 
  • HIV Uninsured Care Programs 
  • Medicaid 
  • Medicare
  • PCAP (Prenatal Care Assistance Program)
  • PHCP (Physically Handicapped Children's Program)

*Legal immigrants include those who are in the country on short-term visas but are in the process of adjusting to permanent residence.

Programs for Undocumented Immigrants/ Non-immigrants

  • Child Health Plus 
  • Emergency Medicaid 
  • HIV Uninsured Care Programs 
  •  PCAP (Prenatal Care Assistance Program) 
  •  PHCP (Physically Handicapped Children's Program)

Child Health Plus

  •  For children under the age of 19 
  •  Free or low cost insurance depending on family income and age of the child 
  •  Covers a wide range of health care and dental needs 
  •  Questions? Call NYC Human Resources Administration at (718) 557-1399 or (877) 472-8411

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage) 

  •  For low income seniors 
  •  Covers prescription drugs using a sliding fee scale 
  •  Questions? Contact EPIC at (800) 332-3742

Family Health Plus 

  •  For adults age 19-64 with low income, who don't qualify for Medicaid;
  • Questions? Call NYC Human Resources Administration at (718) 557-1399 or (877) 472-8411

HIV Uninsured Care Programs 

  •  Includes the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) 
  •  For low income New Yorkers who have HIV or AIDS 
  •  Covers prescription drugs, outpatient care, home care, and health insurance;
  • Questions? Contact ADAP at (800) 542-2437

Medicaid 

  •  For low income people with limited resources, or children, seniors, persons with disabilities and parents with children who have high medical bills
  • Covers a wide range of health care and dental needs
  • Questions? Call NYC Human Resources Administration at (718) 557-1399 or (877) 472-8411

Medicare

  • For seniors aged 65 or older, people of any age with kidney failure or anyone who has received Social Security Disability payments for 2 years
  • Beginning January 1, 2006, prescription drugs are covered if enrolled in Medicare Part D
  • Questions? Call (800)MEDICARE ((800) 633-4227)

PCAP (Prenatal Care Assistance Program) 

  • For pregnant women and teens who meet income guidelines (no resource limit)
  • Offers complete pregnancy care and care for one year after birth
  • Questions? Call 311

PHCP (Physically Handicapped Children's Program)

  • For children up to 21 years old;
  • Children with physical disabilities, chronic illnesses or potentially disabling conditions
  • Questions? Visit NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene at http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/phc/phc.shtml

What If I don't qualify for these programs?

Don’t worry. There are public and private health care providers providing services based on a sliding fee. They charge according to your family size and income.

HHC Options Program

In Queens, the two public hospitals, Elmhurst Hospital Center and Queens Hospital Center, and their off-site medical centers and clinics offer low cost medical care. This program is called the HHC Options program.*

The Financial Counselors at Elmhurst Hospital Center and Queens Hospital Center and their clinics will first help you to find out whether you are qualified for any of the public health insurance programs mentioned above. If you are not qualified, then the Financial Counselors will help you to determine the sliding fee scale for the medical services that you need based on your family size and income. As an example, the fee for an adult in the clinics and the emergency room can be from $15 to $60 based on your family size and income. This fee covers almost all outpatient services, including blood tests and most X-rays. The fee for each drug prescription is $10, up to a total of $40 for each visit.

HHC Options covers all kinds of medical services, including emergency and clinic visits for children and adults, ambulatory surgery and MRI testing, medications, blood tests, X-rays, as well as inpatient services.

Everyone is eligible for this program including undocumented immigrants.

  • HHC facilities also have many staff members who speak languages spoken in the community. If you need an interpreter, you can ask for one. There is no extra cost for this service. Call for more details about HHC options:
  • Elmhurst Hospital Center, Financial Counseling: (718)334-2565
  • Queens Hospital Center, Registration:(212)883-3588

* The HHC Options program is offered by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to those who do not qualify for public health insurance and can’t pay their bills in full.

Other Off-site Medical Centers under HHC Options:

  • Astoria Family Health Services: 12-26 31 Ave., Long Island City, NY 11106; TEL: (718) 334-6122
  • Corona Medical Center: 104-04 Corona Ave., Corona, NY 11368; TEL: (718) 334-6100
  • Flushing Medical Center: 41-60 Main Street, Room 201, Flushing, NY 11355; TEL: (718) 334-6730
  • Junction Blvd. Family Health Center: 34-33 Junction Blvd., Jackson Heights, NY 11372; TEL: (718) 334-6153
  • Ridgewood Family Health Services: 769 Onderdonk Ave., Ridgewood, NY 11385; TEL: (718) 334-6185
  • Sunnyside Medical Center: 43-12 43 Street, Sunnyside, NY 11104; TEL: (718) 334-6230 
  • Women’s Health Services at Corona: 59-17 Junction Blvd., Corona, NY 11368; TEL: (718) 334-6271
  • Woodside Family Health Services: 50-53 Newtown Road, Woodside, NY 11377; TEL: (718) 334-6147 (Fridays only)

Other Help?

Free Health Services from the City Government

You can receive free health services including immunizations, sexually transmitted disease testing, tuberculosis services, and flu shots from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) clinics. There are no income or immigration status requirements to receive these services. DOHMH clinics:

  • Charles Drew Center: 166-10 Archer Avenue, 1st Floor, Jamaica, New York 11433; TEL: (718) 883-5500
  • Corona Health Center: 34-33 Junction Boulevard, Basement, Jackson Heights, New York 11372; TEL: (718) 334-6150
  • Parsons Medical Center: 90-37 Parsons Blvd, 4th floor, Jamaica, New York 11432; TEL: (718) 262-5539/5572
  • Joseph Addabbo Family Health Center- Far Rockaway: 1288 Central Avenue Far Rockaway, New York 11691; Tel: (718) 868-8230

Partnership for Prescription Assistance

If you have no insurance, and don’t qualify for public programs that cover drugs, and you can’t pay for the drugs you need, most drug-makers have programs to help you get the drugs you need. Contact Partnership for Prescription Assistance at (888) 4PPA-NOW ((888) 477-2669) or visit www.pparx.org

About emergencies

  • In a medical emergency, you can go to the emergency room at any hospital.
  • The hospital can’t turn you away if you don’t have any health insurance, but it may bill you later (some low income people may qualify for Emergency Medicaid. This will cover your fees).
  • All hospital emergency rooms have to treat you until you are well enough to go home or be admitted to the hospital.
  • Ambulances must take you to the nearest hospital.

If you don’t speak English well

You can get free help in your language at the hospitals and other health care locations. It's the law!

For more information, please contact the New York City Government: