Resources for Uninsured Patients
Some patients need more help than others. Many patients that are uninsured actually are qualified for Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP. Patients uninsured for other reasons still have a few options. We hope the links below can help some patients.
- Apply for public assistance
- Enroll in Medicare
- Enroll your child in SCHIP
- Enroll in a health care discount program
"For a few dollars a day" you can enroll in a discount program that advertises savings of 25% to 75% on doctor and hospital fees. One such program is Cinergy Health. Please also read this cautionary note.
- Ask your employer to provide insurance
You may be eligible for benefits that you are not aware of.
- Enroll in COBRA
You may be entitled to group discount health insurance and not know it. If you had a job with insurance coverage and lost the job recently you may still be eligible for group insurance rates. The law that governs this is called COBRA.
- Go out of the country
There are clinics in India that welcome Americans who can travel and pay cash for their surgery. An article titled America's New Refugees, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses this at length. There are other related articles in the NEJM. See Health Tourism.
- Go to an Emergency Room
If you are having pain or vomiting this is the first place that you should go. Take care of yourself first and worry about the bills later. If you are not sick this is the last place you should go. You will be examined and get care for immediately life threatening conditions but you will likely be sent home if you do not need emergency care. A simple emergency room visit can be costly. Unnegoitiable medical debt is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in america.