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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Uninsured: How To Get The Medical Care You Need

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If you have limited funds, or no funds at all, getting medical care without insurance can be difficult, but it is doable.

Start with the attitude that you will obtain the health care you need. It may take time and effort, but it is worth the effort. Your life may be at stake.

  • If you take some time to learn about your health condition, you will be able to make more informed decisions about your treatment and avoid unnecessary tests. If you do not have access to a medical professional to provide this information, you can get a reasonable idea from the many resources that are available on the Internet, including specific sites for various ailments. To avoid misinformation see Medical Research 101.
  • Do what you can to maintain and improve your health. For example, you can help maximize your body's ability to fight illness by doing the following:
    • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
    • Get regular exercise. Exercise doesn't have to be in a gym. Our article also provides information about incorporating exercise into your daily life.
    • Get rest.

Do everything you can to become insured. Because of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), health insurance is obtainable despite your health condition.

Whatever you do -- do not give up until you get the care you need.

Our discussion about getting health care without insurance is divided into health care subjects. As you review the information that applies to you, please keep in mind the following tips for saving money on medical costs:

  • Avoid unnecessary lab tests. Always question the need for lab tests, especially if you have had the same test recently. Do-it-yourself tests are available for simple procedures such as vision testing, blood pressure, lung function, etc.
  • For matters which are clearly not related to your health condition, consider starting with inexpensive self-diagnostic tools. If there is any chance the symptom(s) could be related to your condition, consult a doctor immediately. The American Academy of Family Physicians and WebMD offer some do-it-yourself information. See:
  • Avoid unnecessary hospital stays. If a doctor recommends you enter a hospital, ask if the situation can be taken care of on an outpatient basis. It is often easier for the doctor if you are admitted to a hospital. For example, one of our writers needed elective surgery. The doctor recommended that Edward would be in the hospital for two ro three days. Edward pointed out that he could be taken care of at home on a 24 hour basis, and be back at the hospital within 15 minutes if an emergency arose. He preferred not to unnecessarily be exposed to the heavyweight germs that can be found in hospitals. The operation was performed in the hospital on an out-patient basis. Edward was allowed to leave the hospital immediately after surgery and recuperate at home.
  • See How To Save Money When Purchasing Or Using Drugs
  • For additional tips for saving money see: Spending Less.

If the following information doesn't help, look at the the U.S. government website http://FindAHealthCenter.hrsa.gov offsite link for a list of federally funded health care centers with sliding-scale fees based on your ability to pay.

NOTE:

  • If you are uninsured and need emergency care, you can go to any hospital in the U.S. that has an emergency room. Under law, emergency rooms have to provide emergency care regardless of your ability to pay. (That doesn't mean that the hospital won't bill you and try to collect. But it does mean that you have to be be treated first.)
  • If you live in Kentucky, Nevada, Tennessee or Virginia: There may be a weekend of free medical care in your area that also helps find ongoing medical care for the people treated during the weekend. See: www.ramusa.org offsite link
  • To learn the fair cost in your area of the service or treatment you need, check on line. For example:
  • If you have financial concerns, it is worth reading How To Deal With A Financial Crunch or Crisis

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