Approximately 46 million people in the United States are currently without health insurance. The reasons for not having health insurance can vary between the inability to afford premiums versus paying upfront for all medical bills. However, youth and impoverished individuals are greatly represented in the uninsured population. While attempting to manage without insurance there is a strong prevalence related to accidents, illnesses and diseases. 1/5 of all Emergency room patients are without health insurance coverage. People seek emergent care due to lacking a physician, prevention, and primary care. Consider these options when looking for health insurance programs.
Becoming familiar with the different types of plans that are available will help to identify what is preferred. There are various insurance plans available via employers or private policies. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) are options that are available. Determining preferred providers, deductibles, co-payments, dental and vision coverage will assist with the decision making process. Factoring the cost will also help to determine if the plan is the best choice overall.
A flexible spending account can be used for medical bills, prescriptions, and medical devices. The pre-taxed amount placed into the flexible spending account can assist with medical payments. A high deductible health plan can make insurance premiums more affordable while still providing coverage.
Family physicians are sometimes accommodating to patients that are currently without insurance. Determining payment policy and charity care options before seeking an appointment will provide the proper information about the cost involved. Primary care physicians sometimes provide samples for certain medications as needed.
*Low cost clinics
These clinics facilitate treatment for people that are without insurance coverage or that have limited income. Low income clinics are found throughout the United States in most metropolitan areas. Low cost clinics provide primary care to a large population that would be without medical care otherwise. This resource is important to meet the needs of patients with chronic medical problems and to assist in prevention. Clinics typically function on overbooked schedules therefore scheduling an appointment should be done in advance.
*Low cost prescriptions
The cost of prescriptions has become increasingly difficult for people to afford. A variety of stores offer low cost prescription plans including Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, and Walgreen’s. These stores and others offer a wide variety of $4.00 prescriptions. More people are being treated with chronic medications for numerous health problems. Prescription assistance programs are available to patients that are on long term medications. The prescription companies are individual programs that can be available to patients making it easier to access their medications.
Medicaid is a state funded program that provides insurance to medically needy individuals and low income families. Elderly, disabled, blind, and low income families are often eligible for Medicaid. The program typically assists with medical bills, prescriptions, nursing homes, and custodial care. The eligibility requirements vary from state to state and can be initiated by contacting the office in your area that manages the Medicaid program.
* Take care
Living without health insurance is stressful. Maximize self care by eating healthy, getting a full night of sleep, stress reduction, and living a healthy lifestyle. During a time without health insurance many people find it beneficial to avoid extreme sports and other dangerous activities. Uninsured individuals are often young and potentially vulnerable to accidents. Being prudent during this time can prove to be beneficial.
Loss of employment, preexisting conditions, lack of financial resources, and temporary employee probation periods are often factors for being uninsured. Health care is increasingly expensive while recouping funds lost from charity care and bad debt. Often the limited resources that are available to people can be difficult to access in a time of crisis. Seeking resources that are potentially available can provide supportive assistance that brings significant aid. Obtaining insurance or low cost programs during this time can enable prevention and treatment that will not only be cost saving, but have health saving benefits as well.