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At last count, at least 147,000 children in Arizona qualify for AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program, and aren’t enrolled. A big reason why are several common myths that keep parents from applying for the free and low-cost health insurance coverage.

Many fear they won’t get approved, so they never apply. Others worry about negative consequences as a result of submitting an application.

So let’s debunk these long-established beliefs that prevent families from benefiting from a range of behavioral, mental and health-related services.

Myth #1: You can’t get AHCCCS if you don’t have legal status yet.

Fact: If you’re an undocumented immigrant, you aren’t eligible for full AHCCCS coverage. Yet you can get emergency services. These are provided through the Federal Emergency Services Program and include coverage for many medical and behavior conditions that put your health in serious danger. Coverage also includes care for labor and delivery.

Myth #2: You will get deported if you apply and aren’t a U.S. resident.

Fact: This simply isn’t true. In fact, if you don’t have legal status, your kids are potentially eligible for emergency services too.

Myth #3: You don’t qualify if your job offers health insurance.

Fact: If you can’t afford the insurance your work offers or it simply isn’t enough coverage, you can still get AHCCCS. This is especially worth knowing if you have disabilities. Remember, eligibility is based on income. Keep in mind, too, you even have several options for getting AHCCCS while working and earning more than the income limit.

Myth #4: You won’t qualify if you’ve been turned down before.

Fact: The application process is complicated. Some people are denied simply because they made mistakes on the application. If you’re turned down for coverage, you can also file an appeal. So, yes, you can get approved for AHCCCS even if you didn’t qualify before.

Myth #5: You must be living in the streets in order to qualify.

Fact: Sure, you can qualify for AHCCCS if you’re homeless. But you can also be eligible when you have a home and employment. Again, qualification is based on income, not your housing situation.

Of course, there are likely other myths that keep families from applying for AHCCCS. These are just the most common ones we hear at Family Involvement Center.

If you and your family need free and low-cost health insurance, we can help you through the application process for AHCCCS. Then you can be certain you won’t make mistakes that can jeopardize your approval. This assistance is free and available throughout Arizona.

Schedule your appointment today by calling (877) 568-8468 or visit www.familyinvolvementcenter.org.
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