FINDING LOW COST MEDICAL CARE (discounted OR FREE)WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE
Have you lost your job recently? Do you find yourself still unemployed as your COBRA act out? Have you already been without health insurance for awhile and dont appreciate what to do? Living without health insurance can be a serious cafritter away of stress and aggravation to say the least. As one of millions of Americans who are uninsured Id like to tell you what Ive learned in competing with this serious problem.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
First and foremost you hunger to realize that you are not alone. Almost 40 million Americans (over 10 million American families) are without any form of healthinsurance.
My experience is that of a single unmarried individual so know this as you read my article. I cant even imagine going through this with youth and a wife who also are uninsured but realize that even in the midst of your worry and stress there are funds available to help you and people who want to help if you just know who to ask.
Also keep in mind when you look at the statistics of how some people share your plight that we are a strong voting and negotiating block if we ever stand together and let our voices be heard. In addition to contacting the resources Im about to tell you about it would be a helpful thing if every American without health insurance wrote to and called their Congressman, Senator, city councilman, and state representative. Many of these numbers can be came across right in the government section of your Yellow Pages and just about every town and city-hall would have most of these numbers available as well. I have also known people who were helped by their congressman and state representative when they made contact with them. Never be afraid to contact people and network. This is the most important thing I can tell you and it bears repeating. Never be afraid or hesitant to contact people who are supposed to help you. Some congressmen in reality see it as their job to help constituents if you can imagine that.You can also check with the Social Security Administration to see if you qualify for disability, Medicare, or Medicaid. Medicaid is a means-tested program that is automatically given to all disability recipients provided you fall within their income guidelines. For most of the people reading this your chances arent great but it is nonetheless something to try. If youve already tried this avenue and found it to be a dead-end do not despair. Read on for some other suggestions that might very well help you more than the federal government.
CALL YOUR LOCAL COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY FOR FREE OR LOW-COST MEDICAL CARE
If you make a request to the federal government for Medicaid and are turned down there are still resources available to you. The first thing I would try for basic medical checkups, tests, and dental care would be every college and university in the spot. Universities are an even more adept bet than colleges as almost all universities have some kind of medical and dental program. I would still try colleges as well because some of them have basic programs but try the universities first and then the colleges. As long as you dont mind being worked on by a student this can be a good low-cost alternative where they accept cash for services rendered on a sliding scale depending on household income.
Some of these programs also do billing but not all so ask before you simply go if you are going to have to pay in installments. I say “as long as you dont mind being worked on by a student” but please remember that all these students are being carefully monitored by a professor and it essentially isnt true that “those who cant do teach”. In fact just the opposite is true, particularly in the medical and dental professions. All these competing universities are looking for both accreditation and students (and their tuition money) so the schools reputation is based on how many students get jobs upon graduation and that depends on both the students grades and the reputation of the school. If this a concern for you consider what Ive said and ask about the school or universities accreditation rating, graduating class percentages and grade averages, and most importantly career percentages upon graduation. Generally this is a good district to start to look for medical care when you are uninsured and this is where I would go first.
ATTEND LOCAL HEALTH SCREENINGS WHEN ADVERTISED
succeeding calling the local colleges and universities or during the process you should check with all your local pharmacists and drugstore chains to see if they offer any free health screenings for diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol as well as childhood immunizations. I got my blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checked and was also told at the same time about a local health initiative for low-income people where I could apply for medical care and assistance. I found this to be a very informative and helpful half-hour of my life. Many of these screenings are attached to local health initiatives meant to give assistance to those with low incomes or no health insurance. I attended one at a Walgreens store here in Highland Park and I would highly recommend
checking the internet for all the national chains with local stores in your area. Many of these websites have a place you can go to check on neighborhood initiatives or community activities or something with similar phrasing so check that in addition to asking a pharmacist or store manager when or if they ever offer such a program. Most do at some point and even if you dont get any spare referrals you will at least be given some valuable health information so that you know a little better where you stand in relation to your own health. I took my girlfriend to one of these screenings and we found out her blood pressure was off the charts which probably saved her life as we still has time to have room for and change it. There is no more valuable commodity than information so dont be afraid of knowing. Knowledge is electricity because then you can adapt your behavior and often change the situation for the better. Go out and get screened ASAP. If the local drugstore chain doesnt have a screening check the websites of your local tv stations because they usually have a community relations page or a public service page or both in addition to announcing local health screens on the nightly or morning news. Its out there. Get out and use it.
TRY ALTERNATIVE HEALING guidelines TO REDUCE COSTS AND STRESS
Now it may seem laughable to many of you who havent tried natural healing methods to think they might actually work but many people whove tried natural healing methods swear by them as just as good (if not better) than more traditional methods of treatment. In addition some of you who have tried natural healing methods might think it a little nuts to refer to such methods as low cost as some people can spend hundreds of dollars and more on natural treatments but it really is just a matter of shopping for bargains and being persistent. Acupuncture can often be extremely expensive but I found an acupuncturist in Windsor Canada who only charges $25 a session. I found acupuncture to be extremely helpful in alleviating symptoms from several painful conditions and it also helps reduce stress. The acupuncturist I saw also practices Traditional Chinese Medicine and gives prescription advice on traditional medicines. The medicines can be costly but the advice is free and while $25 for an acupuncture session is far away from the norm you can often find an acupuncturist who might charge $40 – 50 and occasionally even $30 -35 so keep looking. In addition chiropractic care can really start to add up but some chiropractors are known to charge as little as $20 -30 a session. A half dozen sessions can really straighten you out and get you feeling like a new person for as low as $125 -150 dollars.
Also make sure that you visit a local health food store and ask a store manager or knowledgeable salesclerk about different herbs, foods, and homeopathic goods for whatever condition you present itself to be suffering from. Most health food stores are owned and operated by people who are very passionate about their products and who are very knowledgeable about living a healthy lifestyle. If you are new to all this healthful stuff dont get intimidated. Just take their advice and see if it functions for you. Health food stores are in business because the proprietors and owners genuinely want to help people and believe that their products actually work. It just so happens that not all products work for everyone but there are almost always other products and combinations of products to try. I suffer from horrible acid reflux and found that a number of these products both singly and in combination with other “natural” products worked just as well or better than doctor prescribed treatments. Yes it can add up but shop around. Also remember while not a cure-all many people swear theyve been healed by natural products and after a time no longer needed expensive medications for so-called chronic or lifelong conditions. I can swear to the help Ive received with my acid reflux from acidophilus, betaine, pancreatin with protease, lipase, and amylase, and also to a Chinese tea from the acupuncturist which works as well or better for me than prilosec or nexium. Please check it out. Getting healed is much less expensive than staying on medication your whole life.
CALL THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PRESCRIPTION ASSISTANCE
I know many of you must be wondering why I suggested this one after I just finished running down traditional medicines in favor of more “natural” methods but natural methods dont always work equally well for every condition and Im a immense advocate of two things: freedom and information. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance was formed during the big shake up of Medicare several years back and was part of the plan meant to help with gaps in the legislation. Take advantage of it. Call 1-800- 4 PPA NOW or go to their website at www.pparx.com and fill out the forms to apply for assistance today. They can help you and they should. If you qualify many of the medicines are free or nearly free. Apply today.
REDUCE STRESS AND DONT SWEAT IT SO MUCH
O.K. I hear a lot of you expression “What do you mean dont sweat it so much. What the heck do you mean dont sweat it so much. I DONT HAVE ANY HEALTH INSURANCE! O.K. youre right, its not fair, but lots of things in life arent fair and getting angry and stressed can only make you sick. Do yoga. Meditate. Take a walk. Run. Swim. stretch the body and mind and get some cardiovascular exercise. Practice mindfulness. Pray. Most of all be grateful for what you do possess whatever that might be. I know this is a really tough one when youre down and out but try and remember all the things you do have. If your children are healthy be grateful. If you and your wife are healthy be grateful. If someone helps you out financially or a healthcare provider gives you a good inexpensive service be grateful and also try to pass it on. If someone was helpful tell their supervisor and commend them for it. If a health-food store or a chiropractor or an acupuncturist gave you good advice, good service, or a good price pass on the information to others and get the word out about the good service providers. Remember the law of karma and the golden rule and try to pass the geez down the line. Also remember that many people who do have health insurance are not getting the best deal and all kinds of people who do have health insurance are turned down on all kinds of claims (most of them serious and not at all frivolous) and are paying into a system and getting ripped off. That doesnt mean you shouldnt look for health insurance and take it if you can get it but dont just take any old offer and dont let anyone shine you on. Remember its usually the doctors who want to help, not the insurance companies. The doctors went to school to learn how to help people. Insurance companies just want to make money and they make most of their money by turning down claims so remember this when youre talking or authoring to your Senator, Congressman, State Representative, or city councilperson. Just hang in there and keep slugging. I hope you find some of these tips helpful in your search for decent medical care on the cheap. This is what has worked for me.
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