No Health Care Coverage, Even with New Laws? How to Pay Your Bills
October 24, 2017
Even with the passage of the new Health Care laws, many individuals suffering from autoimmune diseases are still left without any access to health care. Many of these men and women are no longer able to work, so the possibility of health insurance through employment is not an option and neither is the cost of private health insurance. They are left to try and pay for medical services, doctor’s visits, and even much needed medications while trying to survive on a limited budget, with many having to make the choice of keeping a roof over their head or seeing the doctor. When faced with these questions and this dilemma, it may seem like there is no hope or possible options. However, there is assistance out there if you know where to look.
Many cities, and even many small communities, offer low cost or free health care clinics for members of their community. These clinics can be offered on a regular basis like once a week, or are offered on a more sporadic basis. They are usually staffed by volunteer doctors and medical staff. While they usually do not provide specialty health care, like that of a rheumatologist or neurologist, they do provide regular medical care. Provided you have copies of any of your medical records, you may find one of these doctors willing to continue a medical treatment plan designed by a previous specialist. If this program was working to treat your condition, this may work very well. However, if your old treatment plan is not working, this option may not provide much relief. It is always a good idea to look into these clinics as you may get lucky and find a doctor that is familiar with treating your condition.
Another problem many men and women diagnosed with an autoimmune disease face is the cost of their medications. With many of these chronic diseases, the medication alone can run into the thousands of dollars on a monthly basis. If you are unable to work and living on a limited budget, the high cost of medication tends to force many individuals to take themselves off of their medication because they simply can’t afford it anymore. While doing this with some medications may result in nothing more than an increase in pain or symptoms, there are many medications that can cause serious medical issues if stopped abruptly. Before you resort to stopping your medications, you need to find out the pharmaceutical company responsible for making your medications. Many of these pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance, or even provide free medication to those patients in need. Usually this requires no more than filling out some paperwork and submitting it for approval. Once approved, the pharmaceutical companies will send your medications directly to your doctor’s office for you to pick up.
If seeing a doctor or having medical tests performed is what you need, another option is also available. Many hospitals and medical groups offer financial assistance to those in need. Again, this requires filling out forms and providing financial statements to the organizations, but, if accepted, may provide you with free or reduced cost medical care by doctors within the hospital network and the hospital itself. This is a wonderful option for those patients that will require specialists and medical testing, such as MRI’s, blood work, and more.
Should all of these options fail, and the need for money to pay for doctor’s visits, medical tests, and medical procedures, there is one more option that can be tried. Many people are now turning to the internet to try and raise money for their medical care. An organization called GiveForward has created a website designed solely for the purpose of raising money for medical costs and procedures. This company was started in 2008, and has since helped raise almost 3 million dollars for numerous people and their medical expenses. With people looking to raise money for things such as transplants, surgeries, medications, and even elective surgeries or medical services for their pets, GiveForward provides a place where the average person can start a fundraiser for their medical care. GiveForward does charge a small fee based on the amount raised in order to cover processing fees and such, but they are an organization with the sole purpose of helping people help those in need.
Those of us with autoimmune diseases and medical conditions are sometimes forced to get very creative when it comes to paying for medical expenses while still keeping a roof over our heads. With these possible options available to us, the need to choose whether to pay bills or receive medical care may not have to be a decision we have to make.