There was a time, not long after becoming unemployed and without COBRA or other insurance plan, that some bug hit me. How to pay for a doctor visit or pay for any prescriptions now became a concern? Hitting the internet and googling gained me the answers I needed.
The first useful site I came across is a bit misleading. It is http://www.freemedicalcamps.com. The site lists free medical and dental clinics around the U.S. and a few abroad. Free is also a little misleading. You will discover many of these facilities go on a sliding scale that is based on income and family size.
The other useful organization/site is Partnership for Prescription Assistance (http://www.pparx.org/en). The following is from their website:
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance brings together America’s pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get free or low-cost medicines through the public or private program that’s right for them.
Of course, you can also contact the pharmaceutical company directly. You just have to fill out their application form and supply the required documents with it. Yes, it is income-based.
If the idea of going without insurance, and the cost of COBRA are higher than you want, there are a couple of options. There is a good search site http://www.ehealthinsurance.com that will give you a quote on a health insurance plan. Then again you can always contact the insurers directly to see if they are willing to work with you in creating a plan you can afford.
For those of you with kids and in the State of Illinois there is the All Kids healthcare program. This program provides affordable health insurance for every child. The site (http://www.allkidscovered.com) states that a family of four that earns between $44,000 and $66,000 a year pays a $40 monthly premium per child, and a $10 co-pay per physician visit.
There are likely a number of other options out there. There are a lot of non-profit groups out there looking to help. If you know of any please pass them along so others can benefit.