Finding affordable healthcare in the U.S. can be a tall order, particularly for lower income individuals. Although the Affordable Care Act has gone a long way in providing the uninsured and underinsured with comprehensive coverage, many financially burdened Americans still lack insurance of any kind. Fortunately, citizens with persistent money problems have more options on the healthcare front than they think. If your financial situation has prevented you from buying insurance, the following options are worth considering.
Visit the Health Insurance Marketplace
In your search for affordable coverage, your first stop should be the Health Insurance Marketing – a.k.a. HealthCare.gov. Brought into existence by the Affordable Care Act, this site requires visitors to answer a handful of questions regarding age, income and living situation then provides them with a comprehensive list of plans for which they qualify. Furthermore, depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible to purchase these plans with the help of government subsidies. For example, a plan that ordinarily costs $300 a month may only cost you $30. This can be a tremendous boon to people who regularly require costly medical procedures, like x-rays and high resolution ultrasound.
Apply for Medicaid
Depending on your annual income, you may not qualify for coverage under the A.C.A. If this describes your situation, it’s recommended that you apply for Medicaid in your state. This can be done online, over the phone or at your local welfare office. Once approved, you may be asked to select a Medicaid HMO. When perusing HMOs, make sure to do your homework and select one that provides coverage for the types of physicians you wish to see and the types of medications you take.
Ask About Discounts
Unbeknownst to most healthcare seekers, many hospitals and outside facilities offer discounts to uninsured and underinsured individuals. Some facilities will even cut your bill by 50% after learning that you lack the proper coverage. However, most hospitals don’t advertise this fact, so the onus is on patients to inquire. Additionally, if you lack the means to pay a bill all at once, talk to a facility’s financial aid department about working out a manageable payment plan.
Seeking out affordable healthcare in a nation with a profit-based healthcare system is often easier said than done. However, it’s important for lower income individuals to understand that affordable care doesn’t have to be out of their reach. Financially burdened Americans on the hunt for comprehensive coverage are urged to visit the Health Insurance Marketplace, look into their state’s Medicaid and inquire about discounts when seeking treatment.