Where to Get Low Cost Care for the Uninsured?
Despite the Affordable Care Act’s attempts to ensure all Americans have access to health insurance, many people are still without coverage because of incredibly high premiums. Some people do not have access to coverage through a job, and those that do often find their spouse is not covered under their employer’s plan. And, in states that did not expand Medicaid, many poor individuals and families remain ineligible for public coverage.
According to a 2014 study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 27% of uninsured adults went without needed medical attention because they couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. These individuals are also less likely to receive preventative care or services for chronic diseases.
When the uninsured do seek care, they typically go to an emergency room where they cannot be turned away. But using an ER as a doctor’s office leads to getting hit with astronomical medical bills that the uninsured simply cannot afford. These bills typically translate into medical debt, since most uninsured people have low to moderate income and little, if any, savings. Contrary to popular belief, there are affordable healthcare options for the uninsured.
Urgent Care Centers Offer Quality Low Cost Care
You may have noticed one or more urgent care centers open in your local area and wondered how they were different from traditional emergency rooms. In non-emergency situations, urgent care centers are preferable to ERs because the fees are much lower and the wait times much shorter.
These walk-in clinics are also very convenient as most have extended hours in the evening, when your primary care physician’s office is closed. They are also open on weekends and no appointment is necessary to receive needed care.
Urgent care centers have much of the same equipment as an emergency room and offer many of the same services. Though each center is different and accepts different insurance plans, most offer affordable pricing specifically for those who have no coverage.