Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Medically Indigent

  • Beth E. Quill
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_496

“Medically indigent” is a term used in the USA that refers to individuals who do not have health insurance and are not eligible for other health care coverage such as Medicaid, Medicare, or are not able to afford private insurance. States, counties, and municipal agencies have established under legislative authority Medically Indigent Programs to provide critical medical services to the population. Funded by state and county or local taxes, they are usually authorized under a state public health or health and social services state code. The codes specify eligibility requirements, services allowed, acceptable providers and facilities, and application and administrative processes. The programs are considered the “last resort” when other options for coverage have been exhausted and are usually administered by agencies at the state or county level.


Eligibility requirements vary from state to state but most provide coverage for adults and children. Programs are designed for...

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Suggested Readings

  1. McMahon, T., & Newman, M. (2009). County programs for the medically indigent in California. Sacramento: California HealthCare Foundation.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Colorado Indigent Care Program. Retrieved July 27, 2010, from http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/HCHF/HCPF/1214299805914
  2. Texas Indigent Care Program. Retrieved July 27, 2010, from http://www.dshs.state.tx/cihcp/default.shtm
  3. Virginia Department of Social Services Medically Indigent Program (Children). Retrieved July 27, 2010, from http://www.co.henrico.va.us/dyn/meddocument/00000000/0000000/000000/00000/0000/300/389/MIChild.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth E. Quill
    • 1
  1. 1.Children's Defense Fund - TexasBellaireUSA