Free and Low Cost Medical Programs

by

 The expense of medical care can make basic treatment cost prohibitive for the underinsured and uninsured. You may be surprised to know that millions of US residents are still living without insurance. Millions more are “underinsured,” meaning that they carry only catastrophic insurance. These plans offer affordable monthly premiums, but the tradeoff is deductibles that can be in the $5000 range, more than most families can afford to pay.

It is widely known that medical facilities cannot turn patients away because of an inability to pay; however, use of their hospital services may result in extortion-level bills that take eons to pay off. If you are uninsured or underinsured, you are wise to seek out affordable providers before an emergency arises.

Although you probably won’t hear ads for low cost medical assistance for the uninsured during primetime, assistance does exist. In fact, a variety of programs and initiatives are available to help.

low cost medical

Search for Low Cost Medical Facilities

Community Health Centers – There are Community clinics in both urban and rural areas. They are government funded and serve the community. They are open to all community members regardless of whether they have private insurance, Obamacare, Medicaid or Medicare, are under-insured, or are uninsured. Most centers provide prenatal care, baby shots, general primary care, referrals for specialized care, mental illness services, substance abuse support, HIV/AIDS testing, and treatment, etc. You may have to pay for services, but the fees are usually substantially less than a hospital, urgent care, or private doctor’s office.

Sliding Scale Fee Facilities – A sliding scale facility offers variable pricing for services based on the patient’s ability to pay. These facilities consider the patient’s income and may inquire about assets. Facilities operate on a predetermined equivalency: what you pay is based on your family income.

School Wellness Centers – Some larger high schools in urban areas offer medical services for students, including treatment for sick students, lab work, routine checkups, sports physicals, immunization, mental illness, and substance abuse support. Check at your teen’s school to see what, if any, services it provides.

Free Clinics – Non-profit, non-government, privately-owned and operated facilities may provide services only to persons with no insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. They may extend services to the underinsured who have only catastrophic care coverage with high deductibles. Services are available to undocumented aliens.

Clinics offer basic services such as treatment for illness or injury, long-term chronic conditions, some lab work, some prescription drugs, women’s health, and possibly dental care. They may not be able to help with chronic pain because they often do not carry the license necessary to distribute narcotics.

Non-profit Organizations – The Susan G. Komen Organization is just one example of a non-profit organization which funds community programs. Their local affiliate programs provide services such as free mammograms to uninsured women.

 

Where to Find Low Cost Medical Providers

Several databases are available to help you search for services in your area.

Needymeds.org is a comprehensive database with information about low cost medical facilities with sliding scale facilities. Additionally, it lists facilities that provide some financial assistance. You will want to read carefully, not assuming that all facilities listed provide free services.

Health Resources and Services Administration is operated by the US Department of Health and Human Services. This site is considered to be the most current, complete source of information on community clinics.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is another program of the US Department of Health and Human Services. This database has information beyond free and low cost medical providers and expands to a wide range of providers including community clinics, hospice care, hospitals, dentists, and other providers.

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics operates approximately 1200 Charitable Clinics nationwide targeting the “underserved.”

 

Getting Your Own Insurance?

Free or low cost medical insurance is available to families and individuals with limited income. Because insurance plans are managed at the state level, you will need to investigate what’s available in your state. Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid. Under expanded Medicaid, your family income may be 133% of the poverty line or even higher, depending on your state’s plan.

Your eligibility for low cost medical care programs and discounts is determined by where you fall within state guidelines for income and household size. On nearly all health care websites, the first information you are asked to provide is your zip code. From your zip code, the site will direct you to plans available in your state.[1]

Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Marketplace? – After giving basic personal information including your income and household size, you may be directed to Medicaid or the Marketplace. In either case, look up the Medicaid standards for your state. If your annual income falls below the line set by your state either under Medicaid, Expanded Medicaid, or CHIP you may apply for Medicaid. It is not necessary for you to enter the Marketplace and choose your coverage if you are eligible for Medicaid.

Federal subsidy? – If you make too much for Medicaid, you may still qualify for a federal subsidy toward your monthly payments. The Marketplace will automatically calculate your subsidy. 8 of 10 uninsured individuals are eligible for some subsidy in the Marketplace.

Check out this new article giving tips on insurance discounts.

 

Why Is There Such A Debate Over Healthcare?

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, many Americans anticipated a universal insurance provision giving all residents access to free care. The actual legislation fell well short of this goal: a 2012 report from the Congressional Budget Office predicts that there will still be 30 million uninsured nonelderly Americans in 2024.

For the uninsured or underinsured, the need to find low cost medical assistance has never been greater. Researching services in your area can and making use of specific clinics and providers with manageable fees can save you hundreds of dollars in medical bills.

Notes
1. “Will You Save on Health Coverage?” . HealthCare.gov

 

 

Accepting Failure | Achieve Success
Everybody has a setback every once in a while, but it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you. In fact, accepting failure can be a great opportunity to learn your own limitations and boundaries, then push through them, and provide you with a...
Inexpensive Public School Alternatives
Sending kids to the public school a few blocks away is a simple task for some families. However, not all parents wish to follow this route. They may have concerns about the safety of the public school in the neighborhood, or they may want a different type of education...
How Does Renting to Own Really Work?
 In the years leading up to the financial crisis of 2007-08, the renting to own model — in which tenants/buyers have an option to purchase the house or condo they’re renting from their landlord/seller— was mostly offered by individual homeowners. In the...
Applying and Making Phone Calls to Potential Employers
Applying and Making Phone Calls to Potential Employers Applying to Places Not Hiring: A Wise Move or Not? Are you in desperate need of a job? If you are currently unemployed or if you truly think that your current job is making you “crazy,” you may be due for a new...
Who Qualifies for VA Home Loans
For many veterans and their families, buying a home can be a difficult experience. Many veterans have little patience for the drawn out process of finding a loan, and others have not always had the best luck with credit. Fortunately, Veterans Affairs (VA) can help....
Which Protection Is Best?
Keep Your Information Safe! Makes A Great Christmas Present! Credit card numbers are sacred these days. We’d never give them out to a stranger because credit card fraud and stolen identities are never more than one mistake away. But what if I told you that somebody...
Self Help Works Too!
Self-Help Works Too! Government assistance serves as a great safety net for a lot of people. Unemployment, SNAP, Social Security Disability, and other benefits operate as a great way to prevent total financial collapse following negative life events. However, each of...
How The New Budget will Impact SNAP
How The New Budget will Impact SNAP  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assists lower-income families to purchase food in order to prevent hunger. The program also provides economic benefits to communities. The proposed budget for 2018...
Relief Resources and Benefits Gov
 Let's begin with this. No One Is Guaranteed Government Assistance Just For Existing. That being said, Government aid can be very helpful to those enduring a financial struggle or hardship. It can also be beneficial for those looking to attain a higher...
Walmart Owes Money
Wal-Mart is a nationally recognized big box store offering low prices for customers who have everyday needs. The store employs more than 1.2 million people, and many of them are currently in a situation in which they could receive a big payout from the company for...
Understanding Federal Grants (Part 2)
 In the last issue we talked about how the federal grant system works and how you can make it work for you. In this issue we are going talk about exactly who's eligible to apply for federal grant money. The simple fact is that almost everyone is eligible...
Best and Worst Student Loan Services
Best and Worst Student Loan Services This is the time of year when hundreds of thousands of Americans begin to prepare for their first semester in college. They begin to seek out the items that will sustain them during dorm life. Parents spend money on new sheets, hot...
Penny Pinching Groceries Plus Earning While Shopping
Penny Pinching your way into savings and earning! If you feel like you are wasting money on groceries then you're not alone. The average American spends around $160 per week at the supermarket. What if I told you that number can be easily cut in half by penny pinching...
Feeling Lost? Free (Or Cheap) Career Assessment Tools
In today's world, more people are struggling to pay/find for housing, medical bills, education, and other aspects of life. As a result, embarking on a new career is becoming a popular option to better themselves and their families. However, when choosing a new career,...
Readership Programs for Children
Readership Programs for Children The summer break may not always be beneficial to children. Studies show that children lose an average of one month of learning during the time off between school years. One way to counter this is to engross them in activities that...
Is Rent to Own Housing An Option?
Rent to own housing is a popular term that should be carefully considered. It can be an agreement between owner and seller to rent or lease a property until it is paid in full. The plan can work several different ways, some have zero deposits and no...
Government Assistance for Unemployment
Government Assistance for Unemployment Sometimes, life does not go as smoothly as planned. Fluctuations in the economy lead to periodic lay-offs. Sometimes, a company fails and workers find themselves out of work. Often, an employee and employer simply part ways after...
Best Credit Cards for Questionable Credit
Life does not always work out as planned. Sometimes, a gap in employment leads to a few missed payments, and eviction, or a repossessed vehicle. These things happen to most people. In order build credit back up, a credit card may help. Making regular...
Unpaid Wages Recovery Guide
If you worked for it, then you should get all upaid wages. Everyday can be a struggle and still come up on the short end of the stick. That is why you may be frustrated when you are not paid the money you are owed. Fortunately, there are many steps that you can take...
Section 8 Vouchers Less Likely to be Accepted
 About 300 less, that is the number in Nashville, TN. Since 2010 there has been 300 fewer Section 8 vouchers accepted throughout the Greater Nashville Area. Families are being kicked out of their apartments and housing because the owners have just decided...

The Premier Forex League

Subscribe

Family Picnic

Enter Your Email for Best Results

Due to the overwhelming response, please enter your name and email to ensure the proper search results.

You Are On Your Way!

Family Picnic

Enter Your Email for Best Results

Due to the overwhelming response, please enter your name and email to ensure the proper search results.

You Are On Your Way!

Pin It on Pinterest