What Are Urgent Care Clinics
Urgent care clinics are an alternative option to primary care and emergency room services. They began to evolve in the 1990s as an answer to many Americans complaints of not having access to their primary care doctors at nights or on weekends.
Urgent care centers, of which there are about 9,300 in the country, are typically open seven days a week until 9 PM or even later in some metropolitan areas. They are staffed primarily by family care and emergency room physicians and offer nearly all of the services offered in a traditional doctors office or ER.
While urgent care centers have x-ray machines, lab testing and most of the equipment needed for treating a wide array of illnesses, they do not have the sophisticated medical equipment and staff expertise found in ER rooms and are not meant to handle life-threatening conditions. Having said that, these centers can handle a majority of necessary medical treatments from flu shots, ear infections and setting broken bones to pediatric care, immigration physicals, CDL/TLC Medical Exam, DOT Screening, STD Screening etc. In addition to that, the urgent care centers have also started the Telemedicine facility & COVID-19 Screening facility in the light of the emerging Corona Pandemic.
Life Point Medicals Flat
If those free services are not available to you or not what you need, come see us at Life Point Medical. We will never turn you away for not having insurance and will always let you know exactly what things cost upfront no hidden fees.
We have many self-pay services for ouruninsured patients, including annual wellness exams, primary care visits, lab work, X-rays, etc.
If you dont have insurance and need a doctor,contact us to request an appointment.
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Mental Health In The United States
Mental health conditions are not rare in the United States, nor are they confined to any one subset of the population. In 2017, nearly 20% of U.S. adults reported experiencing some symptoms of clinical mental illness. These numbers spiked in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In that year, the number of adults who got a mental health evaluation for anxiety and depression rose by 93% over 2019 numbers, which were already high.
A distressingly large number of people with mental health issues have little to no insurance. Nationwide, nearly 11% of adults with some form of mental health disorder have no insurance at all. That amounts to over 5 million Americans who need to find some way to pay for expensive mental health treatment without insurance, sometimes without much cash on hand.
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Uninsured And Facing An Emergency Know Your Rights
Just because you dont have health insurance does not mean youre without protection. Know your rights.
As an uninsured individual, you may not be familiar with what rights are available to you in an emergency. You have the right to emergency care if you meet the federal guidelines of what constitutes an emergency situation.
So what qualifies as an emergency?
- Any incident that is severe or life-threatening,
- Any incident where bodily functions or organs are seriously impaired,
- Any incident where delivery is imminent in a pregnant woman.
No matter what your insurance status, hospitals and emergencies room must provide adequate care if your situation qualifies as an emergency.
Some visits will not qualify under the formal definition of an emergency:
- Going to an emergency room for non-life threatening care
- Visiting an urgent care facility for non-life threatening events
- Prenatal care, wellness checks, screenings, follow-up appointments or ongoing doctor visits
- Situations that are not considered life threatening, like flu, colds, rashes, etc.
Once your immediate situation has been assessed and you have been stabilized, your hospital may elect to transfer or discharge you.
Please keep in mind just because you go to the emergency room, it does not mean you will be seen if your situation does not constitute an emergency.
Negotiate Your Hospital Bills
Hospitals may grant uninsured individuals discounts or allow patients to pay negotiated amounts over time. For example, negotiated bills are often split into monthly amounts. It is always best, when possible, to negotiate bills before you are hospitalized, such as for elective surgery or to have a child.
You can also ask the hospital ombudsman or payment department about financial assistance programs, sometimes called charity care that can adjust your bills to your ability to pay. In fact, non-profit hospitals are required by law to offer assistance plans to low-income patients. In addition, sometimes applying for assistance can halt bill collectors. Hospitals would rather work out payments with patients for various reasons, including that collectors typically keep 50% of whatever they get from patients.
One more tip: If possible, you are usually better off negotiating with an ombudsman, who is there to resolve patient issues, rather than the billing department that exists to collect revenue.
Also, many individual doctors regularly work with patients who dont have the ability to pay the full cost of their care. Their policies vary but many physicians routinely cut bills in half for the needy and even may slash bills to as little as 10%.
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How To Find Affordable Health Care
Many kids in the United States aren’t covered by health insurance, or are covered by plans with high deductibles and limited benefits.
If your kids are among them because you can’t afford adequate coverage or your employer-sponsored plan doesn’t cover everything, don’t despair. Programs are available that provide affordable even free medical care and are designed to meet or supplement a person’s medical insurance needs.
Your kids could be eligible for coverage right now and you might not know it. Here are some options that may be available to your family.
Retirement Insurance And Medicare
Sometimes when employees retire, they are provided group health coverage from the employer.These opportunities are not as widespread as they used to be because most companies no longer offer pensions. However, a news release prompted by Willis Towers Watsons 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey reports that a majority of people surveyed would pay for this benefit if it was brought back.
Specifically, out of 5,000 U.S. employees questioned, Willis Towers Watson found that 66 percent said they would have no problem paying more per month for their benefits in return for a better retirement package. Sixty-one percent said theyd even give up a portion of their pay if they were to receive a guaranteed retirement benefit.
If your company offers health insurance benefits for retirees, Medicare.gov says that Medicare will typically be the primary payer and the retirement plan the secondary. It all depends on the rules created by this other plan as this has an impact on which plan pays first.
Medicare.gov also warns that your former employer or union has have the right to change the benefits of that coverage or increase its premiums because they have control over it. They can even cancel the coverage if they wish.
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Medicare And Military Health Benefits
If you are active-duty military and enrolled in TRICARE, which is the health insurance policy offered to U.S. service members, it will cover the services and supplies that Medicare typically covers. It will also pay for deductibles and coinsurances required under Medicare if the TRICARE policy provides benefits for that particular service or supply.
For military members who are not active duty, Medicare is the primary payer for all services covered under the participants Medicare policy. The one exception to this is if your services are provided by a military hospital or some other federal healthcare provider. In cases such as these, Medicare typically does not pay for them, but TRICARE does.
And if you receive Veterans benefits in addition to Medicare, Medicare.gov says that participants must choose which policy theyll use when seeking medical care because you can only use one or the other, not both.
However, if the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs authorizes services at a non-VA hospital but doesnt cover all services received during that hospital stay, Medicare may pick up some of those costs. It may even pay some or all of your copayment for these types of expenses.
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Conditional payments must be repaid in certain circumstances.
Does Insurance Cover Eye Exams
This varies from provider to provider. Most policies do not cover routine eye exams. However, many insurance providers offer separate vision plans. These will usually cover at least a portion of your eye exam costs. The average co-pay for an eye exam is around $10 to $40 if you have vision insurance.
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What To Do If You Need Medical Care Without Insurance
If you dont have health insurance, getting medical care can feel daunting and expensive, but there are more healthcare options for patients without insurance than you might think.
Some medical providers offer services for individuals without health insurance. Healthcare Bills can often be negotiated, discounts are available, and federal funding can help keep healthcare at low-cost even for the uninsured.
What Hospitals Can I Visit Without Insurance
In the United States, a hospital cannot turn you away during a medical emergency. However, it can be expensive to pay out of pocket at a hospital so if it is not a true medical emergency, you may want to consider a cheaper option such as a community health clinic.
Enter your zip code below and get free insurance quotes to find out what type of plans you qualify for today.
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.
Womens Health Free Clinic
***Please note: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Womens Free Clinic is closed until further notice. If you need care, visit one of our health centers in NYC. It doesnt matter if you dont have insurance no one is turned away. ***
The Womens Health Free Clinic became the nations first comprehensive, free, student-coordinated womens health clinic. The clinic is a partnership between New York University School of Medicine, the Reproductive Health Access Project, and the Institute for Family Health. The Womens Health Free Clinic is opened two Saturdays per month please call for a schedule.
The Institute for Family Health at 17th Street230 West 17th Street
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Tips For Saving Money When Uninsured
- Shop around before showing up: Call your local medical offices and health clinics to ask about health plans and pricing. If you have an idea of the services you need, they should be able to give you a cost estimate.
- Research your states eligibility rules for Medicaid: Check your state government website to find out who qualifies for Medicaid where you live. If this is an option for you, its your best bet for getting low-cost health insurance coverage.
- Go to community health clinics: There are many places that specialize in caring for low-income or uninsured patients, and many are equipped with the technology and expertise to handle complex conditions. Search for low cost health clinics or community health centers in your city to get started or search www.freeclinics.com.
Free Clinics For The Uninsured
The Institute for Family Health receives generous support from Robin Hood to operate two free clinics, one in the Bronx and one in Manhattan. The clinics provide comprehensive, high-quality health care to people who are uninsured. All services are free and confidential. The Free Clinics are open on Saturday mornings, except holidays. We offer:
- Medical care for adults
- Health education
- Social work services for adults
- Health insurance enrollment if you are eligible
The Free Clinics are operated in partnership with students from two of New Yorks premiere medical schools: New York University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Students are supervised at all times by senior Institute physicians. Free clinic services are only for adults. All children in New York State are eligible for Child Health Plus health insurance. You can make an appointment at any of our locations and we will help your child enroll in Child Health Plus. After two visits to a free clinic, we will begin to make appointments for you at our regular health center. Institute for Family Health centers accept all patients, even those without insurance. We offer discounted services based on your family income. You will not be turned away.
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Waiting Period To Get Public Health Insurance
In some provinces you must wait, sometimes up to 3 months, before you can get government health insurance. Contact the ministry of health in your province or territory to know how long youll need to wait. Make sure you have private health insurance to cover your health-care needs during this waiting period.
How Do I Find A Free Or Low
If you dont qualify for Medicaid or CHIP and cant afford health insurance, you still can get healthcare. By visiting a free or low-cost health clinic in your community, you can receive basic medical care.
Your first choice are community health centers. Sometimes called a Federally Qualified Health Center , these are government-run clinics that offer services on a sliding scale. Sometimes, this even means that care is at no-cost. These FQHCs include community health centers, migrant health centers, county health departments, and homeless shelter health centers. They exist so that those who are uninsured and would be otherwise unable to access care have a place to go. At a FQHC, what you pay will be based on your income level.
You can search here to find a community health center close to you.
There are also free clinics in many communities, independent providers that exist outside of the government safety net to serve those without healthcare access at no cost. Here, doctors and others volunteer their time and services to run these clinics. These types of clinics also usually use a sliding-scale for payment. This means some people may pay nothing for care, while others may pay a nominal fee based on what they can afford.
You can search here to find a free clinic in your community.
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States Where There Is Still A Penalty
In 2020, there’s a penalty for being uninsured if you’re in California, DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey, or Rhode Island. The penalty was assessed on 2019 tax returns in DC, Massachusetts, and New Jersey it will start to be assessed on 2020 tax returns in California and Rhode Island. Massachusetts has had an individual mandate penalty since 2006, although they didn’t double penalize people who were uninsured between 2014 and 2018 and subject to the federal penalty. But they started assessing penalties again as of 2019, since there is no longer a federal penalty.
Vermont implemented an individual mandate as of 2020, requiring state residents to maintain coverage. But lawmakers designed the program so that there is currently no penalty for non-compliance with the mandate. Instead, the information people report on their state tax return will be used for the state to conduct targeted outreach to help people obtain coverage and understand what financial assistance might be available to offset the cost.
Can I Visit An Urgent Care Center With No Insurance
It is advisable for anyone with an urgent need to visit urgent care with no insurance. Urgent care centers generally do not cost as much as hospital emergency rooms, although they do charge fees for their services. In most places, a basic urgent care center visit may cost around $100. However, if more treatment is necessary or if the doctor or PA prescribes medication the cost may be higher.
Prescription medication, however, is not included in the charges of an urgent care center, so those with no insurance may have to pay out of pocket at the pharmacy. In some cases, the doctors at an urgent care center may be able to give out minimal amounts of a medication in the form of samples, but many doctors are now discouraged from doing this in order to save samples for patients during visits to the center itself. Generic prescriptions may reduce the cost of medication for patients without insurance.
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