Low-income family healthcare tips.
Photo by Werner Pfennig
Living on a squeezed budget is hard enough, but it can feel impossible when you have to worry about affording healthcare on top of everything else. Family healthcare can be expensive, but there are ways to save money. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make healthcare more affordable. These are helpful tips for low-income families to access quality healthcare.
Look into free or low-cost clinics in your area
Often free or low-cost clinics are available to help people who can’t afford traditional healthcare. These clinics usually offer primary medical care; some provide dental or mental health services. You can search for free or low-cost clinics near you online or by calling your local health department.
See if you qualify for government assistance
If you’re struggling to pay for healthcare, you may be eligible for government assistance. Medicaid is a program that provides free or low-cost health insurance for people with low incomes. You can apply for Medicaid online or through your state’s health department.
In addition to Medicaid, other programs can help low-income families afford healthcare. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage for children from low-income families. You can learn more about CHIP and other government assistance programs on Healthcare.gov.
Get help with prescription costs
If you can’t afford your prescriptions, some programs can help. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance offers a search tool to help you find assistance programs that may be able to help you pay for your medications. You can also talk to your doctor about getting medication samples or finding a generic prescription.
Ask about payment plans
When struggling to pay your medical bills, ask your healthcare provider about setting up a payment plan. Many providers are willing to work with patients who need help paying their bills. You can also look into financial assistance programs offered by hospitals or charities.
Looking into health insurance options
If you don’t have health insurance, options are still available. You can purchase private health insurance or look into state-sponsored health plans. You can also see if you qualify for a subsidy to help pay your premiums.
In considering the different insurance options, ask questions about all health ailments you or your family members may be facing. You may need to ask, “how does medicare cover a life vest defibrillator” as well as other important financial concerns you may have. This helps you understand what might or might not be covered under a given insurance policy.
Try to lead a healthy lifestyle
To save money on healthcare, you need to prevent illnesses and injuries in the first place. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help you stay healthy and avoid costly medical bills.
Stay informed about your health
The more you know about your health, the easier it is to catch problems early and avoid serious illnesses. Schedule regular checkups with your doctor and keep up with recommended screenings for things like cancer and heart disease. Knowing your family medical history can also help you be aware of any conditions for which you may be at risk.
Take advantage of technology
Several apps and websites can help you manage your health and save money on healthcare. For example, many pharmacies offer prescription discounts when you order your medications online. Different apps can help you find the lowest prices for prescriptions and medical treatments.
Be prepared for emergencies
A great plan can quickly become irrelevant in an emergency. That’s why it’s important to have a solid plan for how you’ll handle unexpected medical bills. An emergency fund can help you cover unexpected costs, and many employers offer short-term disability insurance to help employees cope with lost wages due to an illness or injury.
Make sure you have a list of emergency contacts and an emergency savings fund in case you need to pay for unexpected medical bills.
Talk to your healthcare provider
Talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider if you’re having trouble affording your healthcare. They may be able to help you find resources or make financial arrangements so that you can get the care you need.
No matter your financial landscape, there are ways to get quality healthcare for you and your family. You can make healthcare more affordable by taking advantage of free or low-cost clinics, government assistance programs, and prescription assistance programs. And if you’re struggling to pay your medical bills, don’t be afraid to ask about payment plans.