While many Americans believe that access to affordable and high-quality healthcare should be a right, the reality is that there are millions of us without healthcare coverage. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 27.5 million people went without health insurance in 2018. And since we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, it makes sense that more of us would be concerned about how we’ll obtain family medical care in a financially feasible way.
If you cannot afford health insurance, you’re certainly not alone. But when you’re tasked with finding affordable healthcare without insurance, it might feel like you are. Even with insurance, many of us struggle to pay our medical bills. So how can you save money on medical care if you don’t have any type of coverage at all? Let’s take a closer look at some of the simplest ways you may be able to reduce medical costs even without health insurance.
Research Before You Seek Treatment
No one wants to be forced to make rash decisions about their health in the event of an emergency. This could result in a patient being stuck with a ridiculously high bill they can’t afford. It’s important to conduct thorough research before anyone in your home requires any type of medical attention.
Fees for different hospitals and different doctors can vary widely, so it’s in your best interest to ask questions before you make an appointment. Don’t make an assumption that every urgent care center will charge the same amount or that healthcare for uninsured people will be as affordable from one doctor to the next. You’ll want to look for doctors who specifically offer options for those without insurance coverage and who are willing to work with patients to ensure treatment is affordable. Not every physician will be willing to offer more affordable healthcare for uninsured patients, but you’ll never know until you ask.
Inquire About Reduced Rates or Payment Plans
Along those same lines, don’t feel afraid or ashamed to find out whether a doctor or hospital might offer a patient assistance program to help lower or spread out medical costs. There are many doctors who are more than willing to offer a discount to uninsured patients if they ask for it, but you can’t assume you’ll be offered that rate upfront. If you’re faced with a surprise bill that you simply can’t afford, you should ask the medical facility staff whether they can offer a payment plan to make fees more realistic for you. You may even want to ask or an itemized bill, especially if there was a hospital stay involved, as this can make the final amount owed much lower.
Ask For Free Samples or Generic Medications
When trying to manage the costs of healthcare for uninsured families, it’s not merely the appointments you’ll need to worry about. The cost associated with many essential medications can represent an undue burden for many Americans. However, you can potentially lower these costs by asking your doctor for free samples or requesting that they prescribe the generic form of certain prescription medications. Different pharmacies may offer lower-priced medications, so you may also want to consider switching to a pharmacy that will allow you to stay within your budget while still providing the medication you need. You might also qualify for a prescription assistance program; even if you don’t have healthcare coverage for prescriptions, there are ways to obtain what you require at a lower cost.
The need for quality medical attention is universal. If you’re searching for options involving affordable healthcare for uninsured patients, we’re here to help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.