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Where to get affordable healthcare when you don't have insurance

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    Where to get affordable healthcare when you don't have insurance

    I've visited dental clinics and have even landed a free flu shot here and there, but yesterday something SUPER scary happened that made me double-guess my life without insurance.

    First - I was dropped from my dad's insurance earlier this year after I turned 26. I simply haven't had the extra cash to start paying for a plan. Since then, I've found a few ways to save and find affordable healthcare.

    1. Antibiotics are free to fill most places (Publix always gives them free).
    2. The CVS Minute Clinic is a life-saver if you have a bad cold or even the flu. They can check you out, make sure nothing super serious is wrong, and get your medication right away.
    3. Paying in cash can help you save - especially if you're having a procedure done or dental work being completed.
    4. Urgent care centers have lower payments for folks without insurance (seriously).

    More on #4 - Yesterday, I had a serious allergic reaction to something (unknown). Within 1 minute, my entire face and scalp were covered in welts. Within 10 minutes, my entire body was covered in them and was swelling. My lips and eyes began to swell shut and I began wheezing. I immediately called my husband (after trying to swallow two Benadryl). He works 2 minutes away from the house and got here quickly. We rushed over to the local urgent care. The entire visit with a breathing treatment and two steroid shots only ran me $200 (compared to the thousands the ER would've cost me, that's great). I was in and out within 45 minutes and already starting to feel better.

    I know I'll need to find and follow up with a primary care doctor, but in a pinch, this was great! My question for you all: if you need to see a PC physician - how many of them offer discounts for paying in cash? Payment plans? Also, my mom (when I was growing up) had one doctor she saw for everything (primary care, gynecological, and he even scheduled her cataracts surgery) - do these types of doctors still exist? It seems just about everyone is a specialist (and costly ones at that).

    #2
    Urgent care isn't cheap, but it is certainly cheaper than the ER. Ours charges $170 for a visit.

    Many towns have a free clinic and it is often not well known. I just found out recently that there is a free clinic in my area and several of my coworkers volunteer there. I had absolutely no idea and I've worked here for 3 years. So definitely look into that.

    Doctors giving cash discounts is a bit more of a trouble area. You may find doctors who will do that, but in doing so, they are probably violating contracts with insurance companies and Medicare so that's kind of a questionable practice.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      Sounds like first order of business would be for you or hubby to get a job that provides healthcare insurance, or get on one of the ACA programs which are pretty darned cheap if you are lower income.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post
        my mom (when I was growing up) had one doctor she saw for everything (primary care, gynecological, and he even scheduled her cataracts surgery) - do these types of doctors still exist?
        You're much more likely to find this in rural areas. In developed areas, it's pretty rare. We stopped doing gyn stuff in my office years ago. We simply didn't have the time. With lower reimbursement, primary care doctors today need to see many more patients per day to make ends meet. There are also malpractice costs to deal with. The broader your scope of practice, the more you're going to have to pay for coverage and it just isn't financially feasible for most docs.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
          Doctors giving cash discounts is a bit more of a trouble area. You may find doctors who will do that, but in doing so, they are probably violating contracts with insurance companies and Medicare so that's kind of a questionable practice.
          I hadn't even considered this! Thanks for the heads up.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
            Sounds like first order of business would be for you or hubby to get a job that provides healthcare insurance, or get on one of the ACA programs which are pretty darned cheap if you are lower income.
            Unfortunately, we are in that "in-between" area of making too much/not making enough. We make too much for lower-income programs but also don't have the bandwidth to pay out of pocket for insurance. Both of us are self-employed, which isn't something either of us is willing to give up for insurance purposes at this point.

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              #7
              have you thought of looking into a medi-share program. they tend to be much more affordable then regular health insurance. There are many people in your situation of making too much for programs yet too little to pay the insane premiums for the one size fits all plans insurance companies are forced to sell.

              Comment


                #8
                Just in case you haven't looked at healthcare.gov since moving to Georgia--- the site says that, in GA, a two person household with income of up to $67,640 can get subsidy or tax credit through the ACA marketplace.

                Somewhere on healthcare.gov I found a link to this page that will tell you sliding rate clinics. I'm not sure if this URL is going to just take you to the page or actually give you the returns for your metro area as I input it.

                https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/?...talsearch=true
                "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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                  #9
                  Also, this is very timely in that it is almost open season: "Official Marketplace Dates and Deadlines. HealthCare.gov. Open Enrollment for 2020 runs Friday, November 1 to Sunday, December 15, 2019. Coverage starts January 1, 2020."

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Can't speak to cash question but we switched docs last year. Family physician and she does DDs annual physical (11), my physical and my annual pap. We are not in a rural area and until I found her, I didn't realize you could see one doc for everything but there's definitely a convenience factor to be able to do everything at the same time

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
                      Can't speak to cash question but we switched docs last year. Family physician and she does DDs annual physical (11), my physical and my annual pap. We are not in a rural area and until I found her, I didn't realize you could see one doc for everything but there's definitely a convenience factor to be able to do everything at the same time
                      I'm hoping to find something like that around here. I'm not huge on going to the doctor, but it seems to have come up more often than not in the past 6 months or so.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Joan.of.the.Arch View Post
                        Just in case you haven't looked at healthcare.gov since moving to Georgia--- the site says that, in GA, a two person household with income of up to $67,640 can get subsidy or tax credit through the ACA marketplace.

                        Somewhere on healthcare.gov I found a link to this page that will tell you sliding rate clinics. I'm not sure if this URL is going to just take you to the page or actually give you the returns for your metro area as I input it.

                        https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/?...talsearch=true
                        I'll definitely check this out. Thank you!!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

                          I'll definitely check this out. Thank you!!
                          When you do, please share what you find, good or bad.
                          Steve

                          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            i think marketplace depending on your reimbursement is best bet. The subsidies are generous depending on what you make.
                            LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

                              Unfortunately, we are in that "in-between" area of making too much/not making enough. We make too much for lower-income programs but also don't have the bandwidth to pay out of pocket for insurance. Both of us are self-employed, which isn't something either of us is willing to give up for insurance purposes at this point.
                              So ......
                              You make plenty
                              You are unwilling to pay the going rate for health insurance
                              You are unwilling to give up self employment for a job with insurance benefits

                              But .....
                              You want health coverage and you want it cheap

                              Sorry, but not much can be helped if you are unwilling to make changes.
                              I'll stick to my original suggestion and say that somebody needs to pick up a different job, working for the other guy, that provides health insurance.
                              This self employment gig isn't nearly as good as you think if it doesn't kick out enough money that would allow you to buy health insurance coverage.

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