It’s no secret that for many people, access to affordable health care isn’t readily available. It can be scary not having access to health insurance, but all hope is not lost. The U.S. healthcare system has a long way to go in order to be affordable and accessible to all its citizens. But the below tips can help you get by with no health insurance in 2020 if you have to.
No Health Insurance in 2020? How to Get By…
So you’re facing no health insurance in 2020… Take a look at the below options and act on those you qualify for. Hopefully you don’t have to go without medical insurance for much longer!
1) Get Medicaid If You Can
If you are underemployed or unemployed, or if you are taking care of a family on a small income, you may qualify for Medicaid. At the very least, your children could qualify for the CHIP program, even if you don’t fully qualify for Medicaid.
This is always the first resource I suggest looking into. I will say that you shouldn’t feel guilty for using this program either. Life happens sometimes, and your health IS important and should be taken care of. That is what the program is here for.
I understand that you may not want the government “taking care of you”. But your tax dollars and work have gone into this program too (for years probably – maybe even decades!). And, there are plenty of people (like me) who would rather you be safe and healthy and taken care of. And yes, that’s even if that means paying a few extra bucks from our paychecks.
2) Try Free or Low-Cost Clinics
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, there are other ways to save money with no health insurance in 2020. One of them is to take advantage of free or low-cost clinics in your area.
Many of these clinics offer free services including:
- exams, and
- even some dental or vision services.
If you make over a certain amount, they may have you pay for services, but you’ll pay on a sliding scale. For example, if their cut off for free services is $40,000 a year, but you make $50,000 a year, they may have you pay something like $49 instead. So the cost is still manageable, that way you’re not struggling to make ends meet.
If you don’t have any free or low-cost clinics near you, you can also call around to local doctors, dentists, etc, and ask if they have cash pay discounts. Some also offer free services during certain times of the year, like free flu shots around the holidays or free physicals for back to school. You can also check to see if Sesame Care is available in your area and book directly online for a lower cost.
If you’re in college, you could qualify for coverage through your school. And it’s not dependent on your age either. Not every college offers insurance, but some do, and you could qualify based on your attendance and financial need. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
For many schools, you would either pay out of pocket a monthly cost or wrap it all together with your classes. Financial aid, grants, and the like may cover it as well.
4) Check Out Schools
Speaking of colleges, another great tip is to try out schools when you need health care. For example, in our city, we can go to a Dentistry school, an Optometry school, and even the medical wing of our state school.
At the state school, we get discounted services like:
- dermatology, and
- even gynecology exams.
If you live in a larger city or a city with a great college, you may be able to get free or low-cost medical services. This will vary. But you’ll typically need to set up an appointment, fill out some paperwork, and wait a little longer since you’ll be examined by students.
5) Join A Healthcare Ministry
Because I’m self-employed and make over a certain amount, my health insurance was through the roof. Plus, the deductibles were high, and I had to pay co-insurance no matter what. I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to pay over a thousand dollars a month. And I don’t want to have to pay even more money at the doctor’s office!
So instead, I decided to join a healthshare ministry.
It’s not for everyone, but for my family, it works perfectly and saves us over $900 a month. That’s huge! If you’re self-employed or aren’t making enough to pay for regular insurance, you may want to look into a healthcare ministry.
6) Negotiate Your Bills
Whatever you do, do NOT pay full price for any service or treatment that you receive. Let’s be honest here…healthcare costs are inflated. Why? Because they can be. Insurances will pay those costs (for the most part) and pass on whatever isn’t paid to the insured.
However, when you’re paying off health services as a self payer, the hospital or doctor’s may try to bill you for the same amount. But unlike insurance, you don’t have to pay those exorbitant costs.
Instead, call the billing department. Nicely explain that you don’t have insurance and will be paying the bill on your own (perhaps even in cash if you have the money). Then, ask if they offer:
- a payment plan,
- discount, or
- if they can cut the costs of some of your bills.
If you show financial need or are willing to make payments, and are nice to them, they will most likely work with you on just about anything.
No Health Insurance In 2020 Isn’t The End Of The World
Overall, no health insurance in 2020 doesn’t have to mean the end of the world. Following these tips, taking care of yourself, and being mindful that you still have negotiating power can go a long way.
Were these tips helpful? Do you have additional tips? Tell us in the comments below!
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a strategy consultant and course launching expert. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or crying over This Is Us, you'll find her teaching other mompreneurs how to scale their business without scaling their workload.