Carefree M.D. Blog

8 Ways to Get Healthcare if You Can’t Afford Health Insurance

Carefree MD

March 04, 2021 | Resources

Almost 28 million people in the US don’t have health insurance. Shocking, but not surprising. Health insurance can seem like a luxury when you can barely cover your bills. But, don’t panic if you can’t afford to pay for health insurance. 

There are certainly options for you to get the healthcare you need.

The Importance of Health Coverage

Health insurance is vital, even if it isn’t affordable for a lot of people. Medical insurance can mean the difference between getting proper treatment and being turned away at a hospital.

Aside from the obvious benefits of having some form of your medical expenses covered when you go to the hospital, there are other benefits to having health coverage as well. Mainly, it can help reduce the amount of stress and anxiety in your life. 

Worrying about not having health insurance can be bad for your health.With coverage, you can rest easy knowing that there’s less of a chance that you’ll join the growing list of 137 million Americans who struggle with medical debt.

But how do you get the healthcare you need if you can’t afford it? Here are a couple of ways you can help your wallet and get affordable health care at the same time.

1. Apply for Cost Assistance to Afford Health Insurance

Don’t give up hope if you couldn’t afford Obamacare in the past. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) now aims to make healthcare more accessible to low-income households. 

If your income is between 100 and 400% of the federal poverty level, you can get premium subsidies for your health insurance. This cost assistance is the reason why a lot more Americans can afford traditional health insurance. 

The amount of your subsidy depends on your income level and your coverage you need. And the money goes straight to your insurer. You only have to pay the difference.

2. Look at Medicaid Options

It’s always worth checking out to see if you qualify for Medicaid. If you earn little to no income, there’s a good chance you can take part in this affordable healthcare option from the US government. 

Medicaid regulations are different in every state. That’s why it’s important to check and see what your state offers. Eligibility criteria and earning thresholds vary.

If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can still cover your children. Look into covering your children with CHIP if you earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

3. Get Short Term Health Insurance

If you can’t afford standard health insurance, consider short term health care coverage. These plans have a time limit. But even a short amount of coverage is better than none at all. How long are these plans? Short term health insurance usually runs for 3 to 12 months.

Typically, this type of insurance covers hospital visits, surgeries, or other major expenses. However, doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and preventive healthcare is often not included in these plans.

4. Choose a High Deductible Plan

If you can’t afford regular health insurance monthly premiums, it may be worth looking into a high deductible health plan (HDHP). These types of health insurance plans have a lower month-to-month premium, so they’re more affordable in the long-term.

However, if anything goes wrong, you’ll have to pay a lot more out of pocket. According to the IRS a HDHP’s deductible starts at $1400 for an individual, and $2800 for a family. 

While it’s better to pay $1400 than $13,000 for a burst appendix, regular long-term treatments add up to a higher cost. So, if you need to speak with a doctor often, you’ll want to look into more affordable options.

5. Consider Catastrophic Coverage as a Health Insurance

While catastrophic coverage is an affordable type of health insurance, it’s not the best option out there. You can only qualify for it if you’re under 30 and can’t afford any other type of health insurance. 

Catastrophic coverage gives you all the usual services of health insurance, but with an extremely high deductible. The only treatment this type of health insurance covers is basic doctor visits. If you need any further treatment, you’ll need to pay for that out of pocket until you reach your deductible amount.

While catastrophic coverage and an HDHP sound really similar, their coverage, eligibility criteria, and service providers are different. Be sure to read up on them before choosing a health care plan. This will ensure you find the best one for you, so you don’t have to pay more for your health care. 

6. Go to a Clinic if You Can’t Afford Health Insurance

If you need medical attention, but you can’t afford health insurance, then go to an outpatient clinic in your area. These usually don’t have overnight treatments, but they’re a lot cheaper than hospitals. And they’re a much better alternative than postponing crucial health treatment. 

The price of your visit to a clinic can vary. Some clinics offer completely free treatments. Others determine the cost based on your income.

7. Take Care of Your Health

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a mindful lifestyle can do wonders for your health. Stay away from sugar and smoking to avoid easily preventable illnesses and conditions that cost a lot of money to treat.

Speaking to a doctor regularly also keeps the overall cost of your healthcare down. Regular checkups are a great way to catch potentially life threatening conditions later on. You can also get the medical advice you need to avoid endangering your health. Both can help keep your medical expenses lower in the end.

It’s important to note that no matter how healthy you aim to live, there’s no guarantee you’ll be healthy forever. Accidents happen. Diseases spread easily. And old age spares no one.

To keep yourself healthy, you need to make sure you get professional medical attention when you need it. And that’s why it helps to have a doctor on call you can speak to about your health concerns.

8. Use Telemedicine

Telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular. That’s because more and more people realize that you don’t need to visit a doctor in person to get the diagnosis and medication you need. The key to finding the best doctor on call is to get access to 24/7 board certified doctors in your state, ready to diagnose your medical concerns. 

All at an affordable price.

And if you’re looking to save money on your doctor’s visits and you can’t afford insurance, then you need a way to get treatment without breaking the bank. And that’s what the Carefree MD card does. 

As a member, you can get unlimited online doctor visits for you and your family. While it’s not health insurance, it is an affordable option for health care. One that can keep you and your family safe and healthy. 

The Carefree MD card lets you get expert medical advice and prescriptions when medically necessary all from the comfort of your home. Sign up for a Carefree MD Card today!

The Carefree Dental MD blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed doctor or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree MD Card is not insurance and Carefree MD is not an insurance provider.