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How Much Do You Pay for Your Health If You Don’t Have Insurance?

Photo by Fabian Blank [1] on Unsplash [2]

The truth is, health insurance has become costlier. For some, paying premiums, copayments, and deductibles simply isn’t an option.

Which is why some people choose to go without health insurance. Still, the cost of care is expensive, with a trip to the emergency room being as much as four times that of rent [3].

Just how much do you pay when you aren’t covered? Can you cut down on costs even without coverage? Read on to find out.

Photo by Ken Treloar [4] on Unsplash [2]


The Cost of Care Without Coverage

According to John Hopkins, a 2015 study [5] revealed that the average cost of a doctor’s appointment for a new uninsured patient came out to $160, more or less.

Of course, this dollar amount changed depending on the state the patient was seeking care in. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the cost was $32 less, with an appointment costing roughly $128. Doctor’s appointments in Oregon, meanwhile, were around the $188-dollar mark.

What can be said is that if you don’t have coverage, similar to other products and services, location matters.

Also, know that the study indicated that 6% of uninsured patients were turned down care because they did not have insurance. That said, those who don’t have the coverage may have fewer options.

(If you don’t have health insurance, it is important that you know ahead of time of doctors and health facilities that accept uninsured patients; that way, should you need to visit a doctor as soon as possible, you will know where to go.)

Photo by Crew [6] on Unsplash [2]


Health Insurance Options When You Don’t Have Coverage

As mentioned, health insurance is pricey. Because of this, coverage may not be an available option. If you find yourself in this situation, know that you do have options.

If you are 65 or older, consider looking into Medicare, a government-funded healthcare program geared towards American seniors. For more information on how Medicare works, MedicareFAQ [7] does a great job of going deep on exactly what Medicare is and how it operates.

If you aren’t a senior but are going through tough financial times, consider looking at Medicaid—another government-backed healthcare program aimed at providing coverage for low-income American citizens.

If these options do not work for you and you are between companies [8], you may still be able to stay on your previous employer’s health insurance. Research thoroughly to determine if this is an option for you.

Or, you could create your own emergency health savings, allotting a portion of your income to your health each month. That way, should a medical emergency take place, you have accessible funds to use.

Think of it like setting funds aside for a large appliance or trip. (Speaking of trips, check out From A to BC: 8 Reasons to Go North on an International Jet Charter [9].)

Please know that these are not your only options. Other options include being under your parent’s’ health insurance (if you are under 26), COBRA, and more.


Final Thoughts

Just because you do not have health insurance doesn’t mean you go without care. There are accredited and licensed doctors and health facilities that do accept uninsured patients.

While medical appointments, medication, etc. will be out of pocket, talk with your doctor and/or health facility to determine if a payment plan or discount is possible.

How much do you pay out of pocket for medical costs? What ways have you saved and reduced costs? Leave a comment.

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