(ModernSurvival.org) – Getting sick without medical coverage is a nightmare that many Americans are forced to deal with. For some, a lack of insurance will make them put off seeing a doctor until a condition has gone from easily treatable to life-threatening.
So how can a person survive a medical issue when they don’t have insurance?
Consider These Options
If medical assistance is needed, there are a few options one can consider to get help. Here are a few:
Emergency Room (ER)
Strangely, a lack of insurance is often what brings people to the ER, even for non-emergency situations such as the common cold. In the US, emergency rooms cannot turn a person away until they have made sure they’re stable — whether the patient has insurance or not. Additionally, emergency rooms don’t charge upfront like doctor’s offices do, so patients know they will get seen and can deal with the bill later on.
Community Health Centers
Many community health centers are federally funded, allowing them to offer low-cost medical aid. Some even offer a sliding-scale fee which provides payment options for low-income families.
Urgent Care Centers
In recent years there has been a huge rise in the number of urgent care centers in the United States. While these facilities aren’t equipped to handle major emergencies, such as heart attacks, they can offer medical care for a wide variety of lesser maladies. While an urgent care visit may cost $100 to $150, it is far less expensive than a trip to the ER.
Keep This in Mind
There are a few tips and tricks that anyone who doesn’t have insurance should keep in mind.
- Ask for a cash discount – Not every medical facility offers a cash discount, but some do and it is worth asking.
- Keep detailed records – Without insurance, it may be difficult to obtain a primary doctor. Keeping detailed medical records for oneself and their family is one way to avoid a lot of headaches down the road. This should include previous medical issues and prescriptions, as well as any allergies to medications.
- Be prepared – Before going to an appointment (or the ER) be sure to have a list of symptoms ready to go. Make the most of the visit to avoid repeated, and costly, visits.
For those who don’t have insurance, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is even more important (though everyone should keep their health a priority). Eating healthy, staying active, and getting exercise will help keep the body running smoothly, and avoid costly medical bills.
Unfortunately, there is always the chance of a medical emergency occurring when a person can’t get to a hospital right away. This is why it is vital everyone learns how to treat basic wounds and illnesses on their own, just in case. To start down the path of self-reliance, take a look at our article on how to treat head injuries.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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