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

 

 

Financial Aid: Grants for Women
 Thanks to thousands of grants, women who want to go back to college and earn a degree can do so without worrying about large tuition fees. Grants for women are available for single moms, minority women, and women that are going in to specific fields of...
The AHCA Impact on Medicare & Medicaid
The Impact on Medicare & Medicaid The repeal and replace legislation concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, seems complicated for many consumers. Though it will likely see changes as it is debated in the Senate, the American Healthcare Act (AHCA)...
Should You Consolidate Student Loans?
Should You Consolidate Student Loans? In order to make it through the years of school, students take on a lot of debt from various loans. Sometimes, these loans come from private lenders with higher interest rates and fewer protection. Most loans, however, are funded...
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...
Run A Background Check When Applying for Jobs!
 Social media is everywhere in the air around us today. Hence it is natural for you to assume you can handpick and choose what you want your employees to see. Most people therefore imagine that once they clean up their Facebook wall and delete those...
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...
Free Cell Phones: Avoid The Trap
Cell phones are becoming very sophisticated with the advancement in the technology. Today the cell phones come with lot of mind-boggling kinds of features on them. Due to the increasing competition between the handset manufacturers and the service providers, lots of...
Step By Step Guide To Debt Repair & Rebuilding Credit
Step By Step Guide To Debt Repair & Rebuilding Credit A severe debt situation is a huge financial misfortune that can ruin your ideal credit scores. If you are bothered by this excruciating condition, never worry. You are not alone in this regard. During the...
Getting The Most Out of Your Dental Insurance
If you have dental insurance, it is imperative to know how to get the best out of it. There are several things that you need to understand to maximize the cover for the betterment of your teeth. Your dentist is the most resourceful person to advise you on how to get...
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...
5 Helpful Resources for Women Who are Expecting
If you are living paycheck to paycheck or struggling to make ends meet, a pregnancy can put a lot of extra stress on you and your family. Luckily, there are single mom resources available to help you if you need some assistance. These programs provide benefits such as...
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....
5 Common Ways Families Overspend
If you are looking for ways to free up extra money in your family budget, you are not alone. You may be eager to use any extra money that you can find for debt reduction, savings, or other goals. While it may seem as though there is little or no extra room to scale...
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...
Solid Advice for Credit Repair
It may be difficult to find information on the best ways to improve your credit. There is a wealth of different tips in this article to help you rebuild your journey to credit repair. Using these tips can save you from stressing and prevent headaches....
5 Ways to Keep Your House During A Market Crash
Anyone paying attention to the housing market in the Los Angeles area knows that home prices have been at record highs. National Mortgage News suggests that this could be a housing bubble about to burst, and a decline in home prices and an increase in mortgage...
The Greatness of Good Friday
 What a supreme paradox. We now call the day Jesus was crucified, Good.Many believe this name simply evolved—as language does. They point to the earlier designation, "God's Friday," as its root. (This seems a reasonable conjecture, given that "goodbye"...
How to Save Money on Your Kids Dental Bills
Your family budget might not extend as far as it used to. Still, you want your children to have healthy teeth and inexpensive kids dental bills. Learn how to save money on your kids dental.  Like Clean Teeth? Try the Dollar Brush!   Courtesy of Fox News Health...
History of St Patrick’s Day
 St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent,...
Budget Tips for Today’s Family
If you are in charge of creating the family budget, chances are, you’ve had the unfortunate experience of having a brilliant budget plan that isn’t executed well. This happens to many families and couples, and with a little attitude tweaking, you can solicit the help...

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!

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