The Federal Lifeline Assistance program offers free or discounted phone service for those who are eligible, which has helped thousands of low-income individuals in the United States. One of the eligibility requirements for the program is participating in qualifying government assistance programs, including Medicaid. Those who receive Medicaid can sign up for the Lifeline program and choose whether to receive a discount on wireless or landline service.
What Lifeline Does for Medicaid Recipients
“For those who receive Medicaid, being able to afford monthly phone service can be a challenge,” said Issa Asad, the CEO of Q Link Wireless, which is an approved Lifeline service provider located in Dania, Florida. “Lifeline helps solve this problem by providing low-income individuals with phone service at very low monthly rates, or even free.”
Medicaid recipients who do not have the money to purchase a phone in order to use Lifeline can look for participating wireless providers that offer free cell phones. Q Link Wireless is one example of a provider that offers a free cell phone to qualified low-income individuals. These providers are not obligated to offer these phones. They choose to do so instead.
Lifeline subscribers who request a cell phone from one of these providers will receive one that will let them call 911 at any time. In most cases, they will also have voicemail, up to 250 talk time minutes, texting and call waiting. They have the option to purchase additional minutes if needed as well.
How the Lifeline Program Helps Medicaid Recipients
The Lifeline program allows Medicaid recipients to call their healthcare providers whenever they need to. Without their own phone service and phone, most have to borrow a phone from someone else or visit their healthcare provider in person in order to make appointments. Not having phone service also makes it difficult for them to call their healthcare provider with questions or concerns about health issues they are experiencing. It also makes it less likely that they will get the healthcare they need.
By having phone service available, Medicaid recipients can easily reach their healthcare provider to ask about health issues or schedule an appointment. They can also call their local pharmacy to have medications refilled on a regular basis, instead of having to go there in person. For those who already struggle financially, having phone service through Lifeline gives them less stress when it comes to healthcare.
Lifeline phone service also makes it easy for Medicaid recipients to contact family members and friends. They can stay in touch with their loved ones regularly even if they are unable to visit them in person due to health conditions or a lack of transportation. “Lifeline makes life much easier for those who are on Medicaid,” said Asad, who is also the CEO of Quadrant Holdings in Florida. “The combination of affordable phone service and affordable healthcare means that these people can enjoy a higher quality of life,” explains the QLink Wireless CEO.
Things to Consider
While the Lifeline program offers numerous benefits to Medicaid recipients, it’s important for them to keep a few things in mind. They have to recertify their Lifeline eligibility each year to keep receiving phone service discounts. This is a basic requirement of the Lifeline program. They can recertify easily online, on the phone or through the mail. Once they have done this, they will receive another year of discounted phone service.
Medicaid recipients should also note that only one Lifeline discount per household is allowed, and they will need to choose between wireless or wireline service. If anything changes in terms of their income or eligibility, they need to notify the Lifeline program as soon as possible.
Above content provided by Issa Asad from Q Link Wireless, located in Dania, FL.