Healthcare is an eternally controversial subject in the United States, with entire election campaigns fought on the grounds of whether or not it is a human right, what level of healthcare should be guaranteed to all, and more questions besides.
While the debate has been clouded more recently in the light of a pandemic outbreak, the fact remains that people have intensely differing opinions on the matter, and agreement doesn’t look likely to be achieved any time soon.
So for those wondering what they can do to get the healthcare they need, it is important to look at what options are available, and how to inform yourself on what your healthcare rights are. When you feel ill or are injured, you need help – and knowing where and how to find it could be vitally important. If you are not covered by health insurance, you may be concerned that you won’t get treated, but there are options out there that could literally be life-saving.
Find out Your Nearest Free Clinic
If you don’t have private health insurance – and statistics show that in the region of 27.5 million Americans are in that boat – then you may need to depend initially on a free clinic for routine medical help. These clinics are staffed by professionals who may be volunteering their services, and they will offer frontline medical care for those who are uninsured or underinsured. In some cases they may provide referrals to specialists should you need more acute treatment than they can provide, but they will help you with information on funding avenues.
Check out Whether Medicare Covers You
It is assumed by some that Medicare, a free insurance program that offers medical cover as a public option, is a service solely for those over the age of 65. However, there is also provision under Medicare for people with certain disabilities as well as those with End Stage Renal Failure (ESRF). Medicare does not cover all medical treatments that you may wish to have, but services such as Harvard Pilgrim Enhance can increase the range of treatments you may benefit from – so it is worth seeing whether you could qualify for this program.
Research Your State’s Provision for Medicaid
If your employer does not provide healthcare as part of your compensation package, and/or you are on a lower income, there is a possibility that Medicaid will cover you for necessary medical treatments. Provision differs from state to state, and qualifying income levels can change without it being broadly publicized, so it is worth checking out exactly what your options are with regard to treatment under this system. Even if you have checked before and didn’t qualify, there is a possibility that you do now – especially if you are a parent, unemployed or currently pregnant.
Ask Your Employer
Due to the patchwork nature of healthcare provision in the US, it is entirely possible for a person to be eligible for medical cover they didn’t know they qualified for. This may even be the case with reference to employer-provided insurance packages. If you don’t know what your healthcare options are, but are in a job that pays above a certain level, consider asking your employer whether they offer healthcare as a benefit; you may be surprised by what you find out.
It’s not always obvious where you can find healthcare if you are uninsured – but there are places you can find it and it’s worth looking into what you are entitled to. No-one should be in a position where they cannot access the help they need.