Reachout Wireless, a Nexus Communications company, is the third largest provider of free government-supported cell phones in conjunction with the Lifeline Assistance Program.   The company operates in 18 states. Reachout Wireless stands out as the major carrier that not only promises their customers a phone that is equipped with a camera, but also allows their customers to upgrade their phones to one of several models.

Reachout Wireless currently provides free cell phones in the following states: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Residents in California must pay a monthly fee of $2.50 for the basic plan as of right now, however that may change in the near future.

Phones and Upgrades

Reachout Wireless offers their customers the option of choosing a free cell phone, a refurbished, random camera-equipped phone of the company’s choice. However the company also offers the widest range of phone upgrades in the Lifeline program. The company offers phones that were popular years ago like the Motorola RAZR, as well as Android phones and even iPhones. Of course, there are fees involved, and the better the phone, the higher the fees.

Reachout Wireless Service Plans

Reachout Wireless offers three basic plans to choose from.  One plan, like many of the other Lifeline carriers, offers 250 incoming and outgoing talk minutes every month. However, the smaller plans offer rollover minutes, allowing you the greatest availability for your minutes. The basic plans that Reachout Wireless offers free to their customers are detailed below:

  • Plan 1: 68 free monthly rollover minutes.  Incoming and outgoing text messages are counted as 0.3 plan minutes each.
  • Plan 2: 125 free monthly rollover minutes.  Incoming and outgoing text messages are counted as 1 plan minute each.
  • Plan 3: 250 free monthly minutes with no rollover. Incoming and outgoing text messages are counted as 1 plan minute each.

Standard services:

  • 3-Way calling
  • Call waiting
  • Caller ID
  • Call forwarding
  • Voicemail

Reachout Wireless does allow international calling on their phones, but it is not cheap at around $1.50 per minute for many countries.


Reachout Wireless Top Up

It is easy to add minutes to a Reachout Wireless phone. Top ups are available at the following prices:

  • 20 additional minutes:   $3
  • 40 additional minutes:   $5
  • 240 additional minutes:   $10
  • 500 additional minutes:  $30
  • 950 additional minutes:  $50
  • 1000 additional minutes:  $52.50
  • Unlimited texts and voice minutes: $26.95 a month

Top up never expire, and are rolled over month to month until used.

Reachout Wireless offers several easy ways to purchase refill minutes. Customers may do so most easily on the Reachout Wireless website. If a visit to the website is not possible, customers may choose to purchase minutes with agents at any of the following locations:

  • MoneyGram
  • Wal-Mart
  • CVS
  • Western Union

How to Qualify for a Reachout Wireless Phone

If you are already receiving assistance from one of several government programs, you probably qualify for a free phone from Reachout Wireless.

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Social Security
  • Section 8  Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Food Stamps
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF)

Each state has different eligibility requirements and some states accept participants of other programs than the ones listed above

If you do not qualify by participating under a government relief plan, you may still qualify under if your total household income is less than 135-150% of the Federal Poverty guidelines. However, not all states allow qualification under income guidelines and some states have different income thresholds.