In 2011, an estimated 17.1% of Americans went without health insurance, according to Gallup. This number was the highest number of uninsured Americans since 2008, with an increase of 0.8% from 2010.
About 44.6% of these individuals were employed and did not receive health insurance through their employer.
While these numbers are staggering, they are not the only issues individuals face in regards to health insurance.
A 2008 article by the Los Angeles Times describes in detail many of the problems with healthy insurance today:
- Individuals who must purchase health insurance themselves tend to pay more than those who purchase health insurance through group plans, and they face more denials and restrictions.
- Medical underwriting has caused many insurers to be much more strict when accepting applicants with pre-existing conditions and chronic conditions.
- Many insurance providers only cater to younger and healthier individuals because they are more profitable.
- Between 2002 and 2007 insurance premiums rose about 71%, about 50% more than inflation and wages.
- Over 30% of money invested in health insurance goes to pay administrative costs.
The growing number of individuals being denied insurance and not being able to afford insurance has made it difficult for these individuals to pay for proper medical care.
There are solutions for some, though. If you are a single mom, struggling with medical bills and lack of insurance, you may be able to receive help with your healthcare needs.
Ways to Receive Free Or Discounted Medical Assistance
Do medical bills, prescription costs, and the rising cost of health insurance leave you with a bad taste in your mouth? You aren’t alone.
Many individuals all over the country are struggling to receive the appropriate health care they need.
If you need help finding health care and help affording your prescriptions, consider these options:
- Free health care programs are available from both private and public organizations around the country. To find programs that could assist you, visit Need Help Paying Bills for a complete list.
- Walgreens provides free health care and prescription coverage to individuals who have been laid off or lost their job and no longer have health insurance. To find a Walgreens near you with a Take Care Clinic, visit this website.
- The Health Resources and Services Administration, also known as the HRSA, is a U.S. agency that is dedicated to helping uninsured and low income American locate affordable health care. The HRSA website provides information on where to locate affordable health care, health care for diseases and conditions, and prescriptions.
- The VA Medical Care Hardship Program provides health care assistance to veterans. If you are a veteran of the armed forces, consider using this program for assistance in receiving medical coverage.
Locate and Apply for Government Grants
Help paying off medical bills is also available from the government. If you need assistance with the cost of your medical bills and prescriptions, consider these steps for finding and applying for medical grants from the government.
- Visit www.govbenefits.gov
- Choose “Benefits” from the menu and begin taking the questionnaire. This will help determine whether you are eligible for the grants before you apply.
- When you are done with the questionnaire, apply for the grants online or download the applications to print out.
- Fill the applications out completely and take note of any documents you will be required to send with the application.
Once you have filled out and sent in the application to the appropriate government agency, you will simply need to wait for the government response. If you do qualify, you should have no problem receiving the assistance.
If you are having trouble paying your medical bills or affording your prescriptions, don’t worry. There are many ways you can receive low cost or even free health care and help with medical bills.
Knowing what programs are available and how you can access assistance is half of the battle.