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Sick and Have No Health or Medical Insurance? I Will Tell You What You Can Do

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Did you know that we already have free health care here in America? I'm not talking about the Obama Health care plan, no, before the Obama Health Care plan existed we had and still have a system called “Charity Care”. If you are sick and make below a certain amount of money you qualify for what is called “Charity Care”. According to Alex Jones, illegal aliens use this service on a regular basis and that is one of the reasons why the system is so tapped out (but that is another story).


Many hospitals will not tell you about this health care option and instead will admonish you to raise the money by hook, nook or crook which, depending on your illness could mean death. Let's face it, if you have cancer you might not have 6 months to try to raise money for health care.




Charity Care is federally funded but states also have their version of it. One such program was the federally funded Hill-Burton program initiated between 1946 and 1974. Any state that participated in the program received monies from the federal government to improve their facilities in return they had to provide health care to those who could not afford it. There are hospitals that have not met the obligations of the Hill-Burton program and therefore must provide free health care to those who qualify. To see if you qualify or to get answers to your questions regarding this program you can call the toll free number below:

1-800-638-0742, the hot-line is available 24 hours a day.

Each state is different but the magic number that your income has to fall below is usually $7,500. That number does not include your house or your car. Your other assets cannot exceed $7,500 dollars, which coincidentally is also the number you have to stay below if you would like to avoid paying any income taxes.

Also you can go to a United Way hospital where they will use a sliding scale to forgive a certain percentage of the bill based on your income and if you have health insurance and a rejection letter from Medicare. If you are accepted by Medicare, they will forgive whatever is not covered by Medicare. The other method is just walking in to the billing dept. of the hospital and asking what you can do about reducing your bill. A fan told me about these so if you have information regarding other options please post them so as to help others. In addition, don't forget to scout out any free clinics in your area. There are some of these still around and you might be able to find the remedy you need at one.

In many cases the hospitals will not volunteer this information. And, there has been a decrease in doctors and hospitals providing this care so it is important that you ask about it and find a doctor or hospital that cooperates in the program. Unfortunately, this whole system is in jeopardy due to the recent passage of the Obama Health Care program, under that program if you don't buy healthcare insurance I guess you can get it in prison!

If you happen to find yourself in a situation in which you have no insurance and need medical care I hope that you will not hesitate to look into charity care..after-all you pay for it through your state and federal taxes so in that respect it isn't charity care at all!

Good luck and God Bless.

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Comments

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 17, 2018:

You would have to call the hospital in that area and ask them.

Heather Hofmann on February 17, 2018:

Is there Charity Care in Ohio, more specifically, Licking county?

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 28, 2014:

Yep, can't hurt to ask! Thanks for stopping by "hazelbrown".

hazelbrown from Central PA on August 28, 2014:

Good info! A friend of mine had her first baby when her husband was still in school, and they had a really low income. The hospital sent her a bill for over $20,000 for giving birth! They didn't tell her that the hospital has a program for low-income people, where you pay a % of the bill based on your income. She could have saved thousands, but nobody told her. It's always a good idea to ask for options if you need help paying for something! The worst someone can tell you is no!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 22, 2014:

Good luck to you..do your research each state is different and things are changing since Obamacare was passed.

Emma Vine from Texas, USA on August 22, 2014:

I did not know about United Way hospitals and the sliding scale but I sure plan to research them now. I'm uninsured, the Obamacare plans want me to pay a monthly amount that's higher than my mortgage for a crappy plan that has a huge deductible. Some place that would allow me to pay on a sliding scale in case of emergency would be great.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 08, 2014:

Sounds like it, I'm glad I don't live there.

JT Walters from Florida on August 08, 2014:

Oh it is Florida so Rick Scott declined the money to expand healthcare for the medically complex and disabled. Governor Rick Scott is making Florida do with far less than Obamacare. It is a nightmare!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 08, 2014:

I'm sorry to hear that, things are changing with Obamacare..and not for the good.

JT Walters from Florida on August 08, 2014:

In Florida they kick you out of the hospital no matter how sick you are. I had a severe irregular heart beat for over five days and they refused to treat me. It was due to a potassium deficiency because I was sick and could have easily been corrected with IV fluids. I sat in the CEO(s) office when they refused to treat me and told him if I were going to drop dead infront of my child I was doing it in his office. They still kicked me out. Florida, with Rick Scott, is a whole other world.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 28, 2014:

Yes, that is true, please share this and get the word out! Thanks for commenting.

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on July 28, 2014:

Too many people stay at home and suffer, because they have no health care at all. The emergency room has to treat you if you are sick. Once I had asthma so bad, I had to go to the hospital. They treated me and kept me for two days, and sent me a bill, and adjusted my bill according to my income. If I had stayed home, I would have died!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 22, 2014:

No, John it's the Hubpages layout.

Johnk515 on June 22, 2014:

Im genuinely enjoying the style and layout of one's website. Its a very uncomplicated on the eyes which makes it a great deal much more enjoyable for me to come here and pay a visit to far more typically. Did you hire out a designer to make your theme? Excellent perform! bbdecadgeada

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 18, 2013:

Thanks again Rick.

Rick Maselli from Akron, Ohio on July 18, 2013:

Barbara, this may help. There are two avenues you can take to get charitable care in Texas. The first is from the non-profit hosptals themselves, which must give some type of charitble care to those without health insurance under the Access to Health Care plan set up by the state.

Here is that link: https://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/pdfs/a...

Also, there are numerous charitable care organizations in Texas. This next link will show them in Dallas and within 100 miles from Dallas. You can also type in your city and find out about others, if you are not in this area.

Here is that link: http://www.nafcclinics.org/clinics/search?search=D...

I hope this helps. Rick

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 18, 2013:

Thanks Rick.

Rick Maselli on July 18, 2013:

Here is a link to places located in Texas that have charitable care. You can start with these and if you are not getting the type of treatment you need, be sure to ask them to refer you to other places. Remember, like Brie has said many time, this information is the easy to find because you have to search for it. Here is the link and good luck.

http://www.nafcclinics.org/clinics/search?search=D...

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on July 17, 2013:

I don't know Barbara, you'd have to call your local hospitals and ask them. I will say..that I found out about charity care from a guy who lives in Texas..so Good luck.

barbara on July 17, 2013:

does Texas have a "charity care"? any contact info would be appreciated.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 05, 2013:

That's not true. I know many people personally who got free care for cancer and other ailments...it depends on the state in which you live. And, who knows how much longer this will be available.

not so fast on June 05, 2013:

what you failed to mention is that the doctor's bill are not covered by the hospital's "charity care" and in any case this really mostly applies to emergy care. I doubt that it would cover very expensive procedures outside ER. In any case this sort of help is but a patchwork and not a solution and definitely not a form of Health Insurance as you seem to imply. Obamacare is not a true Universal Healthcare but a compromise that benefits the insurance industry.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 26, 2012:

Good luck to you "mayhmong", please rate it up if you like it.

mayhmong from North Carolina on September 26, 2012:

Thank you so much for the info! I'll try to see if my parents would qualify for this!

Silver Fish from Edinburgh Scotland on September 01, 2012:

I know which system I would rather have.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 01, 2012:

Well, I'm sorry but I have heard differently. I'm sure there are some that are happy with the system but I know of others who are not. Thanks for commenting.

Silver Fish from Edinburgh Scotland on September 01, 2012:

Longish waits for non urgent treatment sometimes, certainly never meagre- state of the art mostly. Most people in the UK are very proud of our health care system which delivers world class care to all , no matter how rich or poor.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 01, 2012:

I've heard from some people who live in the UK that it isn't so brilliant at times...long waits and meager care in some instances.

Silver Fish from Edinburgh Scotland on September 01, 2012:

Great hub.

I live in the UK, where we have a brilliant free for all world class health care system. Very few people have health insurance here and even those that do would never rely on the few private hospitals to deliver acute care, as the standards of care are much higher in the free state system.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 31, 2012:

You're welcome "sandus", I hope it helps.

Sandeep S from kottayam on August 31, 2012:

thank you, this is something awesome..

Rick Maselli from Akron, Ohio on August 28, 2012:

Will Do!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 28, 2012:

She is in Akron! Could you send them to me email via the contact in the above right hand corner? Thanks.

Rick Maselli from Akron, Ohio on August 28, 2012:

It actually is in Summit county. I live in the Akron, Ohio area. What city is she from . I have other resources through a support group where I might be able to get information for her if she does not live in my area. She could also try the link I gave you above to find out.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 28, 2012:

That's great Rick, what city is this in in Ohio? My mother lives in Ohio.

Rick Maselli from Akron, Ohio on August 28, 2012:

Here is another update for you Brie. The last time I wrote I told you that I had lost my health insurance, at age 63, and did find a free clinic called the Open M Clinic. There are some other pluses I have be blessed with at this clinic. The clinic is actually served by volunteer physicians and nurses from the Summa Health System, one of the largest and highly acclaimed hospital systems in Ohio. As it ends up, the cardiologist that gave me a check up is from the same group that I was going to when I had insurance. So, I really feel that I am getting the best of care.

Plus, they will supply you with all the medications you need for free provided by their free on site pharmacy. If they do not have the meds in stock they will help you apply for the free med plans that most of the name brand drug companies offer or write you a script and help you get discounted medication. They supply most of my meds and even vitamins and fish oil etc.

Once I am able to get on Medicare, then I will no longer need to go there, but this really bridges the gap until I get Medicare.

The only trade off is that you need to get to the place about a half hour early to sign in since all appointments are at the same time when scheduled. This means that there is always a wait, but I have gotten used to it. On top of that, everyone that works the clinic is super nice.

So for anyone that needs health care, it would be well worth it to do some research and find clinics in your area that offer this free care.

Here is an easy way to do that. The National Association of Free or Charitable Clinics has a search page to find a clinic in just about every city in the US. Here is that link.

http://www.nafcclinics.org/clinics/search

I hope this helps some people out. Take care Brie.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on August 28, 2012:

Well, that might happen here one day but I doubt it. Also, the reason they might not show up is because it takes so long to get in..they don't want or can't wait all day.

chunkymcmanus on August 28, 2012:

We take free healthcare for granted in the uk yesterday they gave figures on the mllions lost each year when people dont turn up for apointments

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 18, 2012:

As you can see from the comment many already have, thanks for commenting ChloeHibb.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on June 08, 2012:

I have heard this over and over again...the thing is they just don't advertise it. Thanks for commenting "Arrow".

Arrow on June 08, 2012:

My son broke his wrist, a minor fracture and had no insurance. He went to a leading Salt Lake Hospital When they found out he had no insurance the bill dropped from over 2,000 to about 250. His care also became more conservative placing a splint instead of a cast. When I looked at what they actually did and the amount of time spent with him it seemed to me that what he was billed was actually reasonable.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on March 05, 2012:

Thanks so much Rick, I know that your information (even for those not in Ohio) will help.

Rick Maselli from Akron, Ohio on March 05, 2012:

Hi Brie,

As you know I gave some information before and now I have even more. Since the last time I wrote, another snag entered into my life that caused me to loose my health insurance. This, of course, is not a good thing for a 63 year old who falls two years short of getting Medicare. So, I had two choices. Sit down and brute about it and and take my chances for the next two years or dig and search till I found something, anything that could at least fill the cap to some extent.

Some of this may be repetitive, but much of it is new. I did not realize that besides the Fed and State programs out there, which are not really designed for middle or lower middle class, there are county, city and even Medical Group assistance and of charity as well. Hospitals have programs too.

First I looked into a volunteer program comprised of Doctors, both family and specialists, in Summit County, Ohio, called Access To Care. If you do not have health insurance and make less then around $21,000 a year, and are between 18 and 64 years of age, you qualify for either no cost or very low cost treatment. So, I called to sign up and found out that they needed to take my wife's income into consideration too, even though, I am the one without health insurance, and I do now qualify to get on her plan. The bottom line was, for two people, you have to make under $29,000 a year, and that disqualified me.

I was disappointed but did not want to give up.

So next I found out about the OPEN M clinic that is charity based. Their basic qualifications are that you live in Summit County, Ohio, you are between the ages of 18 and 64, have no health insurance and are not on Medicare or Medicaid. The only small issue is that to enroll, you must call on a specified enrollment date and keep your phone on speed dial because you must get in on that date while hundreds of other people are calling too. Once you get through, you leave you name and number and they will call you back within 24 hours. If you do not answer their call within that time, you will loose your spot and have to wait till the next enrollment date.

Once accepted, you get free, by appointment only, healthcare from family care to specialists, dental and medication.

I also found out that one of our hospitals called Summa Health Systems, has specific doctors that became members of Summa Physicians Inc., and they provide a program for people without insurance, that based on your income, combined with my wife's in my case, will allow you to go to any member of SPI and get either free or greatly discounted treatment. This means you can see almost any type of doctor and even go to some urgent care facilities under the plan. Once you get accepted, and I did by the way, you are in the system and since the billing goes through SPI, you pay nothing up front and when you get the bill, you will be discounted as low as 0% of the cost of treatment. The only thing with this program is that it is good for 6 months and then you will need to be re-evaluated. If your income and everything else is the same, it will continue for another 6 months and so on. Wow! I got accepted and as a bonus, so did my wife. Since she is on an HSA insurance policy through her work, this works out really good for her too, since she has to fund the first $2,500. So for her, using this plan will mean she won't have to use anywhere near the amount of her funded money as she did last year, as long as she goes to SPI members. This could mean changing some doctors as well.

For Prescription Drugs, I wanted to let you know that I got on the Ohio Best RX program. To qualify you must be between the ages of 18 and 64 and again, not have health insurance. This card gives you discounts similar to the the ones you get through an insurance companie and in some cases the cost is even lower then the insurance companies. You still have your doctor write you a script, and for meds you take on a regular basis, the doctor will write them for 90 days. You take them to your local pharmacy, and get your discounts. One of my meds that I was paying $10.00 for 90 days with my insurance, I now pay $15.00 for 90 days and I don't have any health insurance premiums to pay anymore. You can even go online and find out the exact cost of the your medication so you know exactly what you are going to pay. You will find however, generic drugs get huge discounts, but if you want a name brand, it will be very expensive, so let you doctor know about this. We are in control of our health, so if there is a generic available, let your doc know that is what you want.

Another thing I found out about prescription drugs, when you go to a pharmacy and let them know you have no insurance, some of them can swipe a discount card they have, to greatly reduce the cost, as long as it is a generic drug.

Once last thing, don't be afraid do tell your doctor that you don't have insurance and ask what is the lowest they can charge you and if they have any programs in place for people without insurance. I did this with two of my doctors. My cardiologist decided not to charge me at all for a visit and my general practitioner, told me about the SPI program I mentioned above. Since then I found out that both of them are SPI members so I can still see them and not worry about the money. I also talked to my Psychiatrist, who prescribes some of my meds, and he offered to reduce my cost to only $6.00 more per visit then what my copay was when I had insurance. You can also request the same thing from any hospital or medical facility. Many of them base your income on 2 to 3 times the poverty rate, so there is a good change you will get a discount.

Persistence is the key everyone. If you don't keep digging and searching and trying, even when you get turned down with some programs, you won't get help. So don't stop because people and physicians out there, do want to help.

I hope this helps, Rick

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on March 03, 2012:

I've heard from people that have told me that it has...maybe it's just your state.

MJ on March 03, 2012:

Charity Care will not pay a hospital doctor,private doctor visits,surgeon fees,radiology,anesthesia,or anesthesiologists.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 28, 2012:

That's great, thanks for the tip Iscastro.

lscastro on February 28, 2012:

I am a contractor and make a pretty solid salary, I stupidly thought I did not need insurance, since I did not feel like paying 6k for an overnight hospital stay I found a medical bill negotiation service http://www.klfinancialservices.com they were able to get the bill down to $2400. I was lucky I could afford the lowered bill...

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on February 11, 2012:

Thanks Urmilashukla23, feel free to repost on your facebook page.

Urmila from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA on February 10, 2012:

Very informative! Voted up.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on January 12, 2012:

Thanks Phoebe, feel free to post it on your facebook page.

Phoebe Pike on January 12, 2012:

This hub is awesome! It's so wonderful that you wrote about this. It is useful and something I had never heard of before... two thumbs way up!

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on December 01, 2011:

Thanks Rick..very helpful indeed!

Rick Maselli from Akron, Ohio on December 01, 2011:

I do have health insurance, but like so many Americans that have it, the health insurance companies are raising the deductible of out of pocket expenses every year. Last year I had a $1,000 hospital bill that I had to pay because my insurance had not met the deductible limit yet. I called the hospital to find out if I could make payments and in the process was asked if the income my wife and I make together is below the federal poverty level. I told the woman that we were making above the that amount. I came to find out the the hospital doubles the federal poverty income amount and if you are below that, they will write off the debt. And, that is exactly what they did.

I don't think too many people know about this. I live in Ohio and some of the hospitals do this. However, if you get treatment at a hospital you need to know that places like Pain Centers etc. that have the hospital name, sometimes hire doctors from without the system as independents doctors to give treatment. Once that happens, it takes the hospital out of the picture and you will end up owning the independent doctor instead of the hospital.

These doctors pay the hospital for use of their facility. I found out the hard way, that the doctors will only write off bills for people that earn below the federal poverty level. They do not double that amount like the hospitals do.

Just thought I would make you aware of that. Remember to ask the hospital what there policy is on the federal poverty level and if there limit is double, make sure you asked to be treated by hospital personnel and physicians that actually are employed by the hospital.

Hope this was helpful. Rick

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on November 04, 2011:

I'm glad you wrote so others know that this is available to them. There are many out there who can't afford health insurance at all.

sara811 on November 04, 2011:

I live about 2 hours from Atlanta. We have yet gotten insurance but my son became ill with a high fever so of course we took him to the ER. The bill came back and was over $500. They told my husband about their financial help for indigent cases. My husband makes just under $50,000 a year so i figured there was no way they'd help or maybe just pay a percentage. I went to the quick office visit, brought in all my papers....check stubs, bank statements ect...and to my surprise, we were covered 100%. Not only for that bill, but my husband is sick, i was told to come to the urgent care center, bring my "indigent/charity" form and it will cover all 5 of us in our family. This is good for emergency needs but i am ready to have health insurance so we can keep healthy and not wait for emergency situations:)

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 20, 2011:

Thanks Moonlake! It's comments like yours that really help!

moonlake from America on September 20, 2011:

Wisconsin has a plan called Community Care we know we had to use it but we also had to ask for it they didn't tell us about it. Our son 28 had a terrible accident and had a brain injury. He had insurance which paid good but was running out.

When he was in the hospital they came to us and said when his insurance ran out they would put him on Medicaid and they would pay all his medical care. I said will he get good care that way and they said he would get better care. They also said he could then go on Social Security Disability.

We do have health plans in this country for the poor. Poor are better taken care of then the families that have just enough to make it but aren't considered poor but aren't rich enough to pay huge medical bills.

Back to Community Care our son had over 100,000.00 left in medical care between clinics, hospital and flight for life. I filled out papers for him to every place he had a bill. Community Care paid all of it and one clinic gave him an extra year of Community Care.

They will also pay for people who have money but not enough to pay bills they may not pay the whole thing but will help with some.

Here are some of Wisconsin Medical Programs.

Community Care (You have to ask for it they won't tell you)

BadgerCare Plus for Pregnant Women

BadgerCarePlus Core Plan

SeniorCare

Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)

Wisconsin State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Great Hub voted up.

Brie Hoffman (author) from Manhattan on September 20, 2011:

I agree about the wars and the point of this article is that there is something out there which is better than nothing. And most people don't know about it. Regarding medicine, personally I think that natural is better anyway. Most of the medicine given by Big Pharma is worse than if you didn't take it.

ClairAnn on September 20, 2011:

The point of the article is how it is in America that if you are in the miserable position of earning less than $7500 dollars A YEAR you can ask around for charity medical care and that this is a saving grace?

This is not the reality of millions in America, without medical insurance the medicine itself is unaffordable, those on low incomes cant afford the medicine and the hospitals dont want to hear it. You can get emergency care but if you cant afford the medicine after you are in pain and out of luck.Charity systems exist but they are so few and far between and you have to earn next to nothing plus they dont cover the medicine you need. This is no solution and nothing to be proud of.