Emergency Gold Card: How To Expedite Your Harris Health Application

Emergency Gold Card: How To Expedite Your Harris Health Application

If you have a medical need that simply cannot wait and you must see a doctor soon an emergency Gold Card may help your situation. 

The Gold Card is a form of health coverage offered by Harris Health System. This plan helps low income families in Houston who are uninsured, between jobs or even homeless. 

In this article I will explain how you can expedite your Harris Health application so that you are able to have your medical treatment covered by Gold Card. 

Editor’s note: The Gold Card will only cover medical services provided at Harris Health clinics and hospitals. It will not cover medical bills from Houston hospitals like Methodist, Memorial Hermann, St. Luke’s, etc. 

Qualifications To Receive An Emergency Gold Card

In order to fast track your Gold Card application you will need to meet one of the following eligibility requirements:

  • You were discharged from the hospital within the past 30 days and need a follow up appointment
  • Need immediate medical attention
  • You need to reschedule a medical appointment
  • A specialty clinic appointment is required
  • Need to schedule a procedure or visit
  • You need prescriptions filled 

If any of the above fit your current situation then you could qualify for an emergency Gold Card. To confirm that you qualify you will need to call the Harris Health Eligibility line at 713.566.6509

Applying For the Expedited Gold Card

Once you have determined that you qualify for the emergency Gold Card, you must now complete an application. 

You can obtain a Gold Card application by downloading it (English application, Spanish application) or by visiting one of 4 Harris Health eligibility centers listed below:

  • Acres Homes Clinic – 818 Ringold St, Houston, TX 77088
  • MLK Eligibility Center – 3550-A Swingle Road, Houston, TX 77047
  • El Franco Lee Clinic – 8901 Boone Road, Houston, TX 77099
  • Strawberry Clinic – 927 Shaw Ave, Pasadena, TX 77506

You will need to deliver your expedited Gold Card application to one of the Harris Health eligibility centers above. These centers are typically open Monday through Friday with varying hours for each location. 

When delivering your documents be sure to let them know at the eligibility center that you are submitting your Gold Card application and requesting that they “fast track” that application because you have an emergency medical need. 

Additional Documents Needed to Apply for Gold Card 

In addition to completed the application you need need to supply supporting Harris Health documents like your ID, proof of address, proof of income, children’s birth certificates, citizenship paperwork, and proof of any health coverage you already have.  

If You Have a Medical Emergency…

You should contact 911 or visit your local emergency room right away. 

If you visit a private hospital like Methodist, Memorial Hermann, St. Luke’s, etc, they will probably not help you apply for Gold Card. Harris Health hospitals on the other hand may help you apply.  Ben Taub and LBJ are both in the Harris Health System network therefore you will likely receive help applying for the Gold Card if you are admitted to one of the hospitals and need a procedure performed. 


It is possible to expedite your Gold Card application if you meet one of the 6 eligibility requirements that we discussed above. To ensure that you qualify, review that listing above and also contact the Harris Health eligibility line at 713.566.6509 to learn more about the emergency Gold Card. 

Lastly, to learn more able the Gold Card enrollment process you can refer to our article titled How To Apply for the Harris Health Gold Card

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