It is no secret that medical insurance and expenses can get pricey. Even if you have insurance you may come across medical expenses that are just more than you can afford. However, there are a few steps you can take to receive affordable medical care without insurance.
Read on to discover nine tips and suggestions on how to do just that.
1. Look at urgent care centres
Whether you need immediate attention or not, urgent care may be the best option for you if you do not have insurance. Many states, like urgent care philadelphia, have phenomenal urgent care facilities that can handle anything from sprains to upper reciprocity infections. Visits to urgent care cost, on average, about $150 per visit. For some ailments, this may not be worth it. For others, this price point is great.
2. Shop around
Before deciding on a physician or specific doctor, take the time to shop around and check prices if you can. Prices from physician to physician can vary greatly. In many cases, shopping around can save hundreds of dollars and get you the help you need. So, if you have time to wait, be sure to make your rounds before working with any doctor. You never know if urgent care in Philadelphia will be cheaper than urgent care in Norristown.
3. Agree to the price upfront in writing
Billing can get dicey at hospitals. I’m sure you have heard that you need to ask for an itemised bill even if you have insurance. If you don’t, you could end up overpaying for many things that you shouldn’t be paying for in the first place. This is especially true if you don’t have insurance. Be sure to discuss pricing with your physician upfront and get an agreed-upon price in writing. This will ensure the best price for you and keep any surprises from happening.
4. Look into your insurance eligibility
If you don’t have insurance and know you will run into medical issues, you should consider getting insurance. Look into your eligibility because you may be eligible for assistance like Medicaid or Medicare. If you are not eligible for either of those, you could still receive health care for a great price on the healthcare marketplace. This could turn your urgent care Philadelphia trip from $150–$200 every time you walk in the door.
5. Prepare well
If you are insured, you need to be in and out as quickly as possible. Some doctors will charge you by the hour. So, come prepared with all of the documentation you can find. This includes your medical records, a list of concerns for your health, and any other information that may be pertinent to your trip to the doctor’s office.
6. Budget for medical emergencies and needs
Whether you are as healthy as a horse or have been struggling for several years, you should set money aside monthly for medical use if you can. It’s a way of providing yourself with financial insurance that can guarantee your health in the future. This also applies to those who do have health insurance. Your insurance may only cover so much, so it’s best to be prepared if the worst happens.
7. Keep track of your medical records
If you don’t have insurance, you probably aren’t going to go to the same physician year in and year out. There is nothing wrong with this. However, you will need to keep track of your medical records. If you constantly go to a new doctor, they won’t already know what you have been through in your health journey, meaning they won’t be well informed on how to help you. You can avoid this issue by handing them an organized folder of your medical records.
8. Ask for a discount when paying cash
Many physicians and healthcare providers offer a cash discount. It is a way of giving those without insurance a break, and doctors don’t often enjoy dealing with insurance in the first place. These discounts typically range from 4% to 10%, but they can be even higher in some cases.
9. Research free clinics and community centres
Did you know that there are free clinics and community centres? If urgent care in Philadelphia is too expensive for you, there may be a community centre that can handle your needs right around the corner. If these facilities don’t offer free healthcare, they likely offer it at a significantly discounted rate. Whether they are federally funded or privately owned, it is worth some research.
Medical care without insurance can be ridiculously expensive and, for many, unattainable. However, with a good bit of research using these tips and tricks, you may find yourself with the perfect place to go. Whether it is urgent care in Philadelphia or a free clinic, as long as you have somewhere to go when something goes wrong. So, if you can’t afford health insurance, budget for medical expenses and follow these tips next time you need to pay the doctor a visit.
Simona LeVey did her degree in psychology at Tel Aviv University. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.