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My biggest piece of advice to the (medically) uninsured

Lynnae at posted about being uninsured, which got me thinking (as someone medically uninsured myself (argh!!)).

Maybe you’ve been uninsured for a while, maybe you’re newly uninsured. My first, biggest piece of advice:

Find the closest free (or cheap) clinics.

You can talk to your doctor, do websearches, call local hospitals, check the phone book–there’s lot of sources.

Now if you get sick, you know where to go. Don’t be ashamed to use them, they’ll help you stay on your feet. It’s better to get medical attention than to let your health lapse.

Obviously, free clinics can’t solve all your problems, but if you’ve got a simple strep throat they can probably get you some antibiotics before it becomes something nastier.

You may have to pay, but it’s often based on your income–so hopefully you can afford it.

If you can get insurance quickly, that’s great. But if not, or if you can get it at all, you know where to go.

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November 15, 2007 at 5:10 pm

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Money Blue Book November 15, 2007 at 2:52 pm

It’s really important to have health coverage…it’s the #1 cause of bankruptcy.

I do contract work so I have to provide my own health insurance. The best way to lower your premiums is to have a high deductible if you’re generally healthy.

Or you can vote for a candidate that advocates nationalized health insurance. Um..I’m not promoting a candidate..just throwing that out there! 🙂

frugal zeitgeist November 15, 2007 at 9:14 pm

I have been struggling to find a way to word this that doesn’t sound preachy or dictatorial, but. . . you really need to have health insurance. I know it’s not cheap, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than dealing with a serious illness or injury. Your husband is probably required to have insurance as a student. Since you’re married, isn’t there a way to piggyback onto his policy?

mrsmicah November 15, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Yeah, we’re working on it. :-/ Hopefully we’ll have something by the end of the month. My insurance didn’t expire until a couple months ago, and after that I found the clinic in case.

If I’d stuck it out with this job, I would have been insured in about 30 days. That the plan and the reason I let it slip. It just seemed like too much of a headache to get it for those few intervening months. But then the plans just changed…so now I have to be more proactive. Probably wasn’t a good choice in the beginning, but we weren’t planning to go for long. *sigh*

Lynnae @ Being Frugal November 15, 2007 at 10:46 pm

That’s some good advice. I agree with frugal zeitgeist that you really need to have health insurance, but in reality it doesn’t always work out that way. We lost our insurance when my husband lost his job in May. Then he started another job, and we were supposed to get insurance in Sept. But in August he started another job, and we were supposed to get insurance this month. But then he got fired and can’t find a full time job. You know my story, and we’re working on getting insurance, but it’s probably going to be a few months at least.

In the meanwhile, clinics are a great place to go for basic healthcare. And if you need a prescription, don’t be afraid to ask for a sample. If they don’t have a sample, ask for generic meds, and get yourself to Walmart. They have several generic meds available for $4 for a month’s supply.

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