As of 2015, 33 million Americans didn’t have health insurance. It’s no secret that health insurance could make the difference between life and death if something serious were to happen but, despite this, there are still many reasons why people are still not buying health insurance for themselves and their families.
Anyone can get sick at any time, regardless of whether they have health insurance or not. Whilst having health insurance is definitely advantageous if you do suddenly need medical attention, there are in fact many methods of handling health emergencies without insurance being involved.
From broken bones to chipped teeth to the sudden onset of a serious illness, it’s vital you know what to do if something like this does occur to you or your family without insurance. So, for more information and tips on how to handle family health emergencies insurance-free, keep reading!
Perhaps one of the best medical options available to those without health insurance, walk-in clinics are super convenient and able to diagnose and treat a range of conditions.
Generally, if you ask someone where their local walk-in clinic is, they haven’t got a clue! This is because walk-in clinics are often tucked away at the back of grocery stores or pharmacies, and usually aren’t heavily advertised. So, if you think your local area doesn’t have a walk-in clinic and you find yourself constantly resorting to the emergency room, do a little research and it’s likely you’ll find one.
Many walk-in clinics also offer routine vaccinations and, for virtually any treatment they provide, prices are likely to be half of what you’d be charged when visiting a regular doctor.
Urgent Care Clinic
Whilst walk-in clinics are a great option for most, they’re not appropriate if you have an emergency that requires quick medical attention – this is when you should opt for an urgent care center. However, if you or someone in your family has a potentially life-threatening problem, it’s always best to bypass other options and head straight to the emergency room at your local hospital as quickly as possible.
In emergencies too advanced for walk-in clinics but not quite threatening enough to require a trip to the emergency room, urgent care centers have the facilities and staff to give you the required care. Generally, they have the same level of equipment and expertise as the emergency room just in a slightly more relaxed, less dramatic setting, so it’s worth doing some research into your local urgent care center to see what they offer. Then, when the time inevitably comes when your family does have a medical issue on their hands, you’ll know where’s best to go.
Better still, similar to walk-in clinics, urgent care center fees are often much lower than the emergency room and the wait is usually much shorter. And, as the patients you’re likely to be surrounded by will be slightly less sick than in the emergency room, you have less chance of getting another illness!
Whilst urgent care centers are great for treating more than the common cold, emergency dental care is rarely offered here. However, there are multiple options for emergency dental care with no insurance you can consider – you just need to do a little research into what’s available in your area.
Today’s young people are able to stay on their parent’s insurance plan until the age of 26. But if their parents don’t have health insurance, this leaves many jobless college students helplessly uninsured.
Luckily, many colleges are equipped with on-campus clinics designed to provide extremely low cost, sometimes even free, medical services to young people. But it’s still important to realize that, whilst these clinics are good for minor ailments and things like emergency contraception, it’s unlikely they’ll have access to sophisticated medical equipment you’d find in an urgent care center or emergency room.
Essentially the equivalent of an on-campus clinic (just not on a campus!), community clinics are ideal for those with low incomes. As they usually base their prices on an income-based scale, you’re almost guaranteed to receive medical services at a low price as long as you have proof of low income.
Whilst we’d all love to have health insurance in an ideal world, the cost can be extremely off-putting for most people, or many just might not take insurance as seriously as they perhaps should. But that being said, there are multiple methods of accessing medical attention without insurance – you just need to do a little research and make the correct choice based on the level of emergency you’re facing.