Finding Affordable Insurance and Medical Help Amidst the Pandemic (H1)
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a massive impact globally. The event led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and changed how people all over the world engage with one another.
Not only is COVID-19 a health crisis, but it’s also an economic nightmare as it led to the disruption of businesses and loss of livelihoods. These changes could also mean the loss of job-provided coverage plans such as health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and more.
If we’ve learned anything about 2020, it’s that being equipped for uncertainty is a really valuable asset. For that reason, individuals need to find a way to gain access to health benefits despite the challenges the pandemic presents. Listed below are some ways you can find low-cost insurance and medical assistance.
Use the Government’s Insurance Exchange Website
Visit Healthcare.gov and look for assistance programs that you are qualified for. No matter what your financial status is, this website will show you what kind of aid you can get to pay for a portion of your insurance.
Under normal circumstances, this website is used every enrollment period by individuals who need to purchase insurance for the following year. But that’s not its only purpose. All year round, this website allows people to buy coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
People with major life events are qualified for health insurance subsidies under the act. Losing employment is considered one of those events. If you happen to have lost medical care coverage because the person whose plan you were covered by lost theirs, you are also qualified for financial assistance.
If you aren’t eligible for financial help due to your overall income, you can also utilize the website to find affordable health and dental insurance plans from local agents.
Financial Loss Opens Up New Doors
As your financial status changes, there are new assistance plans that are made available to you. If you’ve suffered a decrease in income, you might be eligible for health insurance programs you weren’t previously qualified for.
One of these programs is Medicaid, which grants free health coverage to individuals and families who fit into an eligibility group. Should you qualify, Medicaid will send payments directly to your health care providers.
You should still apply for Medicaid even if you’re not eligible based on your income. It’s possible to qualify for your state’s program if you have kids, are pregnant, or have a disability. Depending on your state’s rules, however, you may be required to pay for a small portion, called co-payment, for some medical services.
Look for Free and Charitable Clinics
Across the United States, several health centers are accessible to economically disadvantaged people. These clinics are established to provide free or low-cost medical care, depending on the patient’s financial capability.
Charitable health centers allow patients, who otherwise may not have access to high-quality medical care, to receive what they need. They also provide follow-up care to patients after discharge to reduce the likelihood of a readmission.
On top of that, you should also take advantage of your city health department’s services. Free vaccinations, care for women and children, as well as mental health services are offered by local governments across the country.
Communication Is Key
If you can no longer keep up with your bills because of an income drop, inform your health care provider right away. That way, your insurance company’s representative can tell you about your options as early as possible.
And if you have an upcoming appointment, procedure, or operation, it’s best to reach out to your doctor’s office as soon as you can. Talk to them about your financial situation and ask what course of action you should take.
The same goes if you are taking prescription medication. If you’ve lost your coverage or the source of income that you use to pay for your treatment, let your doctor know. Health professionals can connect you with a free or low-cost prescription service, or help you switch to affordable generic drugs.
Despite the hardships that come along with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to continue taking care of your health above all. Never forgo any medical treatment you need, for there are many means to get financing for them.