How To See A Doctor When You Dont Have Health Insurance
If youre sick, you make an appointment to see a doctor, right? Well, if youre in the United States and are one of the many people who is either uninsured or underinsured, getting medical care isnt quite so simple. The healthcare system can be wildly expensive for those without insuranceor for those whose insurance doesnt cover enough. Out-of-pocket medical bills can range from $68 to $234 for a simple visit to your primary care physician, and that is only for the doctors fee. Other services like imaging and blood work will run that bill up even more.
So, how do you access a doctor without health insurance? Luckily, there are a few options available. However, they vary by where you live, what kind of treatment is required, and other factors specific to your circumstances. Healthcare costs can be a very intimidating thing, but the good news is that there are ways to be informed and make decisions that minimize your medical expenses.
Whats The Deal With High Deductible Health Plans
Over the last ten years, high deductible health plans have become increasingly popular. These health plans usually have lower premiums , in exchange for having high deductibles .
Each year, the federal government determines what the minimum deductibles are for high deductible health plans. For 2018, these minimum amounts are:
- Family plan: $2,700
- Individual plan: $1,350
People with high deductible health plans pay lower monthly premiums but more for out-of-pocket care. For many, these high deductibles can be barriers to getting care. If you cant afford to pay $1,350 for a medical procedure, you may find yourself in the same situation as someone who is uninsured: going without the care you need because you cant afford it.
Stay In The Us For Your Surgery
You dont have to travel out of the country for timely treatment.
While you may have your hip surgery in another province, you will receive your care in the USA.
Thus, by choosing cash payment hip replacement in the USA, you can reduce the time spent on searching providers.
Medical tourism and other measures can also reduce costs.
Also Check: What Are Deductibles In Insurance
Double Lung Transplant For Yaniv
Due to years of cutting and polishing a man-made marble full of silica for his job, Yanic developed an occupational lung disease called silicosis. His lungs started collapsing in 2015, and the persisting issues led to Yaniv needing a double lung transplant. Although Yanivs surgery is covered by insurance through his wifes workplace, they still have many out-of-pocket expenses to pay for. Knowing that their friends and family who live far away would still like to contribute to Yanivs care and well-being, his wife set up a GoFundMe so the community can come together to help. Theyve surpassed the fundraising goal and have raised over $28,000.
See what others say about online fundraising on the GoFundMe reviews page.
How Much Does A Vasectomy Cost
Getting a vasectomy can cost anywhere between $0 and $1,000, including follow-up visits.
The cost of a vasectomy varies and depends on where you get it, what kind you get, and whether or not you have health insurance that will cover some or all of the cost. Vasectomies may be totally free with some health insurance plans, Medicaid, and other government programs.
Even if your vasectomy costs more than other methods up front, it usually ends up saving you money in the long run, because it lasts forever. Vasectomies are about 6 times cheaper than female sterilization.
Recommended Reading: Cost Of Root Canal Without Insurance
Cost Comparison Of Hip Replacement In Different Countries
When we compare the cost of hip replacement abroad with the US, the procedure perhaps costs less than in the US. However, many Americans hold back for many reasons.
- Travel woes. Factors like lodging, food, currency, and transportation have to be arranged in advance while considering the patients health condition.
- India offers the lowest cost. However, after considering the travel, 2-4 weeks stay, and the hospital & surgeon costs, the savings in going to India is minimal than going to the U.S hospital.
- The costs in Mexico/Costa Rica are almost twice the prices in India. More important than the costs are the chances of complications post-surgery.
- The risk of having a blood clot in deep veins is high if the patient flies long distances soon after a hip surgery.NHSWhen can I fly after surgery?If youre flying after recent surgery, especially on the hips or knees, youre at an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis , a blood clot in one of the deep veins in your bodyView in Article
So, why travel halfway around the world when you can find high-quality and low-cost providers within your time zone!
The True Cost Of Going Without Health Insurance
When a person who does not have health insurance gets sick or injured, their options for healthcare are incredibly limited. Many choose a visit to the emergency room because both public and private hospitals are required by law to treat anyone who comes in with an emergency medical concern. They will still receive a bill but they wont be required to pay for treatment upfront, which means they can get the care they need.
Without health insurance, a trip to the emergency room could cost anywhere from $150 to $3,000 or more. If you need a surgery or intensive care, your bill could be tens of thousands. The final price depends on many factors including:
- The severity of the condition for which youre being treated
- Which diagnostic tests are performed
- Which treatment youre given
- Whether you need a surgery
- Whether critical care is needed
- The fees of the doctor who treat you
- If you need to ride in an ambulance
This scenario is based on a visit to the emergency room. When you need an emergency medical treatment, it may be worth incurring a costly bill if it means saving your life.
Read Also: Insurance For Short Term Rentals
Additional Staff & Operating Room
As shown above, the type of surgery you get essentially impacts the price you will have to pay. This is due to the additional staff needed to perform that surgery and the operating room cost.
In addition to the physicians participating in the surgery, at least two additional staff members were in the operating room during the procedure. A circulating nurse is present, charting everything that happens during the procedure and doing the things that the “scrubbed in” staff cannot. A surgical technologist, commonly known as a Surg Tech, or ST, is responsible for handing the surgeon the sterile instruments used during the procedure. The fee for this staff may be included in the operating room fee.
An operating room is billed in 15-minute increments in most facilities. The fees include the sterilization and use of instruments, the anesthesia machinery, the cleaning of the room after the procedure, and other items used during the surgery.
Where Can I Go To Get Free Or Low
You may want to consult the HHS Health Resources Services Administration directory of health centers at – these health centers provide care on a sliding fee scale so it is affordable for anyone. You can receive care even if you are uninsured or cannot pay. Search the directory by zip code to find the centers nearest you.
The Hill-Burton program, while limited in scope, provides funds to hospitals and other health care facilities in exchange for their provision of a specified amount of free or reduced cost health care to low-income people. To find out if you qualify for Hill-Burton assistance you must apply at the admissions or business office at a Hill-Burton facility. Also see the directory of Hill-Burton facilities .
You can locate affordable health insurance at the HealthCare.gov Marketplace for coverage.
But, beware of Health Insurance Marketplace Scams.
- Enrollment assisters will NOT ask for money.
- Do not trust people you did not contact who request personal information. They may be trying to steal your identity. No one from the government will call or email you to sell you an insurance plan or ask for personal identifying information. Be careful when giving you personal information, such as credit card, banking or Social Security numbers.
- Always look for official government seals, logos or website addresses on websites selling health insurance.
Report Marketplace Consumer Fraud: 1-800-318-2596
Also Check: Do Newborns Need Dental Insurance
Applying For Financial Assistance
In order to qualify as an Uninsured Patient, the patient or the patients guarantor must verify that he or she is not aware of any right to insurance or government program benefits that would cover or discount the bill.
The standardized application form, “Statement of Financial Condition” will be used to document each patients overall financial situation. Failure to complete and return the application within 90 days of original delivery may result in the Uninsured Patient being denied Financial Assistance. Please attach copies of the following documentation:
- Copy of last pay check stub
- Copy of W-2 from last years income tax
- Copies of documentation of Social Security benefits
- Copies of documentation from local welfare agencies representing your financial situation
- Copies of documentation related to healthcare insurance applied for or denied such as Medicare, MediCal or employer insurance program
Please request a copy of the application form from your surgery center and return the completed application and documentation to the surgery center billing department. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact your surgery center.
How Much Is A Medical Visit Without Insurance
The average visit to a healthcare professional in the U.S. in 2016 cost $265. This average, though, depends on the type of provider youre visiting, and the type of appointment.
For example, an average visit to a primary care provider cost $186, while a visit to a cardiologist was $335.
People with insurance usually have something called a copay, meaning the amount youll owe out-of-pocket before your insurance picks up the remainder of the tab. The average copay rates range from $25 to $50 for most plans and services. Even for minor issues, its a huge help to have insurance in some form.
You May Like: Insurance Not Paying Enough For Totaled Car
Cost Of Surgery Without Insurance
More than the majority of Americans can afford to spend. To illustrate, lets use a straightforward example. Depending on the location and the number of images captured, a CT scan costs anywhere from $300 to $3000 at the hospital chargemaster. Non- or under-insured patients might expect to pay this amount. Lets learn the cost of surgery without insurance.
So, paying for a procedure out of pocket or self-paying can be costly. Suppose you dont have insurance, or your insurance wont cover your surgery.
Your appendix rupture, you break a leg skiing, or youre having a baby may be the most prominent examples of how having health insurance may save you money, but thats just the tip of the iceberg.
Hospital costs without insurance are a lot, even if you dont know what kind of surgery youre having.
If youve got insurance, you can save money on things like the flu vaccination youve been wanting or the throat culture to rule out strep that you need every day.
While self-pay surgery isnt ideal, it may be more appealing than a life of agony or an unhealthy condition. Since most insurance companies only cover a percentage of the expense, you may need to look into self-pay solutions, even when you have insurance, as low as an Outpatient Diagnostic Co-Pay may require those with medical insurance.
Those without insurance will pay far more than those who do. The insurance companys negotiated price may vary.
Using Your Home Equity
Home equity loans are borrowed against the value of your home that is greater than the balance of your mortgage. For example, if your home is currently worth $300,000, but you owe only $200,000 to the bank, you may be able to borrow against the $100,000 in equity.
It is typically easier to obtain this type of loan than an unsecured loan because the house is your collateral. This type of loan also provides a tax break as the interest is tax-deductible like a standard mortgage.
Keep in mind that if you are unable to make the payments on a home equity loan, the consequences can be dire. Failure to pay the loan back can result in foreclosure and eviction from your home.
Also Check: Auto Insurance For Young Adults
How To Pay For Surgery Without Insurance
Patients should not have to fret about paying for surgery without insurance, given many viable options. Yet, it still happens.
Everyone can get affordable coverage that pays for preexisting conditions with no waiting period, but the timing is significant. Many patients can get immediate coverage to address emergencies, while others may have to delay until January for a new plan to kick in.
Financial Help For Surgery For Kids
Insure Kids Now is a great resource for low-income working parents who dont have health insurance, or whose insurance doesnt extend coverage to their kids. Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program provide low-cost health insurance for children, and some cities, offer affordable health coverage for kids from low- and middle-income families. Each state has different eligibility rules see what the options are for yours.
Recommended Reading: North Star Mutual Insurance Company
Insured Vs Uninsured Cost Comparison Example
Still unsure how having insurance versus not having insurance affects your wallet? Below, youll find an illustrative example for both scenarios based on gallbladder surgery. Weve also included our program Patient Assist in the cost comparison.
* = Assumes $350/m premium, $6,500 individual deductible, 20% co-insurance, and an $8,000 out-of-pocket max.
** = While some providers offer discounts for Self-Pay patients, the majority will bill Self-Pay patients the full Charge or list price.
How To Pay For Surgery Costs
You can cover the cost of surgery with a variety of inventive methods. Using Retirement Funds as a Source of Funds Your 401k or 403b retirement plans may allow you to take out a loan against the money youve already saved without incurring a fee. Up to $50,000 of your vested benefits can be taken out for medical expenditures.
Planned Payments: It is typical for them to be offered when the operation is paid for by the patient rather than through insurance. In some cases, a written contract for monthly payments is in place. Hospitals are more than delighted to work out a payment strategy with enthusiastic patients in an unanticipated or emergency surgery.
In our opinion, monthly payments are more appealing than no payments at all. They should also ensure that the debt does not display as a lousy account on your credit record.
Crowdfunding for healthcare an example of this is a GoFundMe campaign driven by donors, and its beneficial for medical needs. In either case, you can begin a campaign on your behalf.
Also Check: How Much For Renters Insurance
Set Up A Savings Account To Cover Medical Expenses
If you choose not to have health insurance, you need to set money aside each month to cover your medical expenses. Try to save at least $100 a month to cover the costs of doctors bills and medications. However, if you were to become seriously ill without insurance, you may be forced into declaring bankruptcy. In addition, if you opt to go without health insurance, you may face additional fines. As of 2019, there is no longer a federal penalty for being uninsured. However, several states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and Rhode Island, as well as Washington, D.C., have implemented their own individual mandates modeled after the Affordable Care Act penalty.
Where Can I Find Orthopedic Medical Care With No Insurance
You should never avoid seeking orthopedic help simply because you have no insurance. Down the line, you may pay even more dearly in terms of money and detriment to your health. Youll still see a doctor or specialist and receive medical treatment, preventative, urgent, acute, and emergency care.
The challenge is finding affordable services, but you can shop around walk-in clinics, community health centers, and direct care providers.
You May Like: Average Long Term Care Insurance Cost
Covering Your Visit With Health Insurance
Unfortunately, in recent years, the percentage of uninsured and under-insured has increased. Currently, about 28 million Americans are uninsured and an estimated 30 million are underinsured.
One reason the number of uninsured is rising is that the federal government is no longer requiring people to maintain health insurance, though five states do require it: California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia.
The individual mandate requiring virtually everyone to have health coverage or pay a tax penalty was passed in 2010 as a part of the Affordable Care Act . That financial incentive led many to get insurance, often carefully comparing and choosing a health plan that best suited their needs and budget. But now with this section of the ACA no longer being enforced by the federal government, many people have dropped their insurance.
Signing up for health insurance during the Open Enrollment Period helps you avoid shouldering the entire cost for large medical bills stemming from serious injury or illness. Most people declare bankruptcy due to medical costs, rather than for any other reason. Undoubtedly, having health insurance can play an indispensable role in helping people maintain their financial security.