Where Do You Turn When You Cannot Afford The Cost Of Health Insurance And Health Care?
Health reform in the USA is supposed to be upon us, but almost 50 million Americans still lack health insurance. Some states have already published their exchanges, but others are still lagging behind. If you cannot afford the cost of medical care or a medical plan, there are some places you can go for help.
If you are one of the lucky people with a job that provides you with group medical coverage, it will probably give the best choice for reasonable premiums and good coverage. But if you have group, public, or private health insurance, you might still have out-of-pocket costs for some expenses because they are not covered, you have not hit your plan deductible, or you have exhausted your plan limits.
- The percentage of uninsured Americans is slowly decreasing from a high of 50 million in 2010, according to a US Census Bureau study.
- The Affordable Care Act might be working slowly to reduce the percentage of people without medical care, but there have been some delays.
- This is not a political discussion, but a resource on helpful ways to get help paying for health costs. This could include prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and more.
- What do you do when you need medical coverage or medical care now?
When You Cannot Afford Medical Care
- Private health insurance for those with a good income, but no group coverage
- Publish medical plans for people with low to moderate incomes
- County health systems and low-income public clinics
- Private foundations, charities, and even corporate support
Private health insurance: If you simply lack group coverage at work, but have an income, you are free to purchase individual and family health insurance from a variety of insurers. This might be a good solution for contract workers, small business owners, and employees of small companies. You can tailor a plan to provide needed coverage and, hopefully, fit your budget.
Pros: These private health plans are flexible and transportable. You can take them with you if you switch job.
Cons: They might be expensive, and insurers still do not have to accept every applicant with a pre-existing condition. You may need to cut benefits and coverage to lower your premium. These plans are unlikely to eliminate all out-of-pocket health costs.
Low Income Publish Health Insurance: The largest public medical plan for low income people is Medicaid. Qualification rules differ by state, but you usually have to have exhausted almost all of your assets. CHIPS is the children’s health insurance program for kids of low to moderate income families. It is easier to qualify. Chips covers kids and pregnant women. Qualifying rules also vary by state.
Some county health systems also have plans that provide access to health care at public hospitals at a reduced rate based on income. You might also find federal, state, and locally supported clinics in your area which are open to the public and charge discounted rates. Here is a free and low-cost heath clinic finder from PPARX.org. Simply enter your zip code and the distance you can travel.
Pros: These plans accepts people with pre-existing conditions, and they provide cheap or free services.
Cons: Some are not easy to qualify for. The network of providers may be limited.
High Risk Health Plans and Pools: States, and now the federal government have a high-risk health plan for people with pre-existing conditions who cannot qualify for a private plan and lack access to group coverage.
Pros: These high risk pools provide access to health care for people who cannot qualify for private plans and lack group coverage.
Cons: They may not be cheap, and not everybody will qualify. Some people might qualify to join, but not for immediate coverage of current health problems.
Private Foundations and Charities: There are a number of private charities and foundations that have been set up different types of financial assistance to people who suffer from specific diseases. Some drug companies also have assistance programs for low-income people who cannot afford prescriptions.
When You Cannot Afford Health Care And Need Medical Help Now ….
Visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance for more information about private and public programs for people who cannot afford health care. You can find everything from patient and drug assistance plans to access to diabetes supplies to a ZIP code based search for inexpensive clinics in your area. This wonderful organization has helped a lot of people find affordable health care. See if they can give you medical help.
How Can You Afford Medical Care Right Away?
This could all change in the next several months to few years as health reform becomes more fully implemented. However, if you are sick, pregnant, injured, AND broke, you might need help today.