How to Get Medical Care Without a Formal Health Plan
As costs for medical treatment skyrocket and more Americans are without health insurance than ever before, many people are left wondering what they are going to do when they need medical care and have no plan. If you are someone without health insurance and are in need of medical treatment, here is a brief guide to help you though this difficult time.
5 Ways To Get Medical Treatment Without Formal Insurance:
1) Enroll in a discount health plan. Depending on what you’re budget is and what your medical needs are, there are plenty of medical health plans that aren’t formal insurance. These are great because they have no pre-existing condition requirements, no benefit caps, and you don’t have to worry about submitting complicated claim forms — you get a discount when you present your discount health plan card. In addition, many discount medical health plans are accepted by a wide-variety of physicians. A good discount medical plan provider will have a searchable database for physicians in your area.
2) Search for independent doctor’s offices in your area. These doctors are independent from corporations and run a private facility. A key attribute to look for in these types of healthcare providers is a well-received reputation in the community. These types of doctors are generally, easier to find in smaller cities. Also, when you’re calling to make an appointment, be sure to clearly state that you have no insurance and have little money. If you have a discount medical plan like the aforementioned, be sure to inquire if they accept it.
3) Find local schools or medical learning centers. These institutions often offer greatly discounted treatments by students.
4) If you’re concerned about treatment in the event of an emergency, you should look into the EMTALA or the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. If you were recently laid-off from a job where you and/or your family had medical health plans you can be entitled to coverage from your insurer. Specifically, the act states that insurance companies provide insurance for laid-off individuals at a reduced rate if they were enrolled in a plan through their previous employer.
5) If you decide to go the emergency room for your ailment, without insurance or a discount health plan, go to the hospital billing office after you’re released. Under some circumstances, you may be able to have your bill waived if you have no job or no way to feasibly pay the health care costs.
All in all, don’t give up on finding medical care and remember that a discount health plan is much better than nothing. If you truly need to see a healthcare professional, don’t wait. Your illness may continue to get worse and in turn, cost more to treat. On the other side of the coin, make sure you’re truly sick before you go out and spend money on a doctor. Wait out common cold and flu symptoms and treat them at home, unless they last for more than 2 weeks.