Articles

I Don’t Have Health Insurance – Now What?

There are plenty of reasons why you might not have health insurance. For example, you may have been under your parent’s health insurance but are no longer eligible because you turned 26. Or, you may have had health insurance through your employer but lost it when you changed jobs.

Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to know your options. Here are some things to consider:

Check out the Health Insurance Marketplace
The Health Insurance Marketplace is a service that helps people shop for and enroll in health insurance. You can enroll through the healthcare.gov website, by calling them, or in person.

Navigating health insurance might seem confusing. But don’t worry! Our article on “How to Navigate Health Insurance” can help you learn the lingo and decide which plan is best for you.

If You are Eligible – Enroll in Medicaid
Medicaid is a healthcare program that provides health coverage for low-income children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Through Medicaid, you can get free or low-cost healthcare through providers that accept this kind of insurance.

If you qualify and get Medicaid, you can visit any clinic that accepts Medicaid to get the health services you need at no or low cost. Apply for Medicaid online and contact your state Medicaid office if you are confused about whether or not you are eligible.

Look for Patient Assistance Programs
Getting health care without insurance is possible if you find clinics and hospitals offering patient assistance programs. You can learn more about these programs by asking the receptionist at a clinic or hospital for more information. You may also ask the receptionist to connect you with the coordinator who oversees their patient assistance program.

If you have already received medical services but are not able to pay, typically, they will ask you to fill out an application for financial help to pay your medical bill. Your bill can be greatly reduced or even completely covered, depending on your situation. More than likely, the clinic or hospital will have information about their financial assistance services on their website, but you can also speak with someone to learn more.

Ask for a Discount or Payment Plan
When you go to a clinic or hospital, mention that you are uninsured and would like to know if they can offer you a discount. Also, ask if they can set up a payment plan – where you pay what you owe for a service over time – like once a month – rather than paying in full right after your visit.

Most clinics and hospitals are willing to work with you to figure out how you can pay your medical bills! Don’t be afraid to ask.

Go to an Urgent Care Center
If your health condition is not truly a life or death emergency but you need help now, urgent care centers are alternatives to an emergency room. Most urgent care centers offer quick health care to those who are uninsured, and they are usually less expensive than the emergency room. They also provide care outside of regular business hours and can be faster than the emergency room.

Visit Community Health Centers
Most cities and counties have one or more community health centers whose services are free. Community health centers usually have primary care doctors, mental health doctors, and pharmacists, and may have dental, vision, and oral care doctors. They might also provide screenings and testing services. You can find a community health center near you by using this tool.

Visit Your Tribal Clinic
If you are nearby, your Tribal clinic is a great resource for receiving primary care services and possibly vision, dental, and oral healthcare. Depending on how the clinic runs, you might be able to get these services free of charge. There are even some Tribal clinics that offer care to American Indians and Alaska Natives who aren’t from that Tribal community. Call or visit your local Tribal clinic to learn more.

Get Free Screenings
Check with local pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics to see if they offer any free health screenings. Common screenings include testing you for high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. At certain times these might be free.

Being uninsured does not mean you can’t access affordable health care. Look into these options to get low-cost or free care in your community.

For more information, check out these resources:

Author: Stephanie Paz is a Tigua Indian of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of Texas at El Paso and is working towards a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Promotion from New Mexico State University.

Tips for Saving

So, you’re thinking about getting that car you’ve been eyeing, or you...

Getting a Career in STEM

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (or STEM) are incredibly...

Diné Origin Of Living 102 Winters

According to Diné origin stories on aging, the lifespan of the Navajo...

Opening a Bank Account

Are you starting your first job? Going to college soon? Or just...

When and How to Quit a Job

If you have a job, you’ve probably dreaded going in at least...

Vote Indian Vote

Students from Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana promote the Native American Vote.

How to Navigate Health Insurance

Medical visits and procedures, like x-rays, can be expensive. That is why...

How to Pick the Right College For You

Deciding to go to college is a big decision and one that...

Money, Money, Money

  Sean Robinson is a young male struggling to live on his...

How to Lease Your First Apartment

6 Tips for Renting Your First Apartment  On the lookout for your...

How to Expand Your Networks

Have you ever heard the saying, “It doesn’t matter what you know,...

Becoming Independent

Sean Robinson is a young male struggling to live on his own....

Native Women Just Can’t Anymore

Sex can be fun and empowering. However, some of us – especially...

Shutting Down Slut Shamers

Enjoying sex or openly expressing your sexuality doesn’t make you a “slut.”...

College Advice

Stephanie Spearing (Southern Cheyenne from Oklahoma) gives advice about financial aid and...

Here’s What You Should Know About Body Sovereignty

You may have heard that Tribal Nations have sovereignty. This means that...

Wearing Contact Lenses

So, you’ve made the switch from wearing glasses to the ease of...

College Advice

James Dakota (Sauk-Suiattle), a student at Northwest Indian College, shares what he’s...

Investing

Investing can help you to achieve your long-term financial goals, such as...

Investment Options

Diversify. Most people have heard the saying, “don’t put all your eggs...

College Advice

Jeannette (Blackfeet Nation), a student at Portland State University, shares how she...

Looking for Work After Graduation

Whether you’re changing jobs or looking for your first job, finding work...

Starting a New Job

Starting your new job can be exciting, but it can also be...

Do Grades Matter?

Do my grades matter when I’m a freshman? Erika, Yankton Sioux, talks...

You and Your Credit

Credit is borrowing money with the promise that you will pay it...

Applying and Interviewing for Jobs

When applying for a job, you might be asked to provide your...

Drugs & Alcohol – Teen Panel

This is a video featuring two youth who share their stories about...

Becoming a Savvy Saver

Learning to save early on can lead to a healthy financial life....

Being a Young Caregiver

A caregiver is someone who provides support at home for parents, brothers...

Get To Where You Want To Be

Sometimes you need to inspire others to get where they want to...

Don’t be a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft is when someone’s identifying information (like their name, social security...

Homelessness

Homelessness is when you don’t have a safe and reliable home to...

Healthy Lifestyle

Born an athlete or not, everyone can become healthy and fit. If...

A Career in the STEM Field

Are you thinking about a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,...

Dropping A Knowledge Bomb Part 1

Hello everybody, it’s been awhile! I wanted to write this blog in...

Impact of Drug Use On Your Life

Two youth share their stories about their past drug and alcohol use....

Erika Ramirez

My experience at the NIHB Native Youth Health Summit, was one of...

Financial Aid – Getting Money For College

Going to college can be expensive, but financial aid and scholarships can...

Maintaining A Balance

One thing Kristie has always maintained in her life is balance physically,...

Ill Mind of Ghost Dog: The Beginning

Hello my fellow Native and non-Native brethren’s. My name is Thomas Lee...

The National Native American Youth Initiative

Preparing Future Native Physicians and Researchers For many students, summer is a...

Rez Life

In every boy’s life there are choices that he faces.

Why It’s Important to Vote

Did you know Indians could still not vote in New Mexico and...

Write a Resume That Will Make You Shine

Writing a resume that makes you stand out doesn’t have to be...

What is your take on consent?

Find Us

Contest

I Don’t Have Health Insurance – Now What?

Follow Us

Enter Phone Number to Subscribe:

Msg & Data Rates May Apply.
Text STOP to opt out. No purchase necessary.
Expect 4 msgs/mo.Terms and Conditions

Menu