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Don't Avoid Medical Care Due to Lack of Insurance
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Susan Evans, MD posted:
Dear Readers,

With the current economic conditions, I've heard from a number of you, and some of you have had some fairly serious concerns, and yet you do not seek medical attention due to lack of insurance.

While insurance is a very helpful benefit, it should never, ever keep you from seeking appropriate medical care when you are truly suffering. Call your doctor and ask what a brief office visit would cost for an established patient. You may be pleasantly surprised.

As one reader pointed out, going to urgent care cost her $100, but it addressed her problem and she was on the road to recovery very quickly.

Rather than waiting things out, suffering, possibly even putting your future health at risk, consider paying for one visit out of pocket so that you can have a medical evaluation.

This will do two things:
  1. It will put your mind at ease.
  2. It will put on the road to health much more quickly.
There are also low-cost medical clinics that are popping up to help manage the vast number of people who are currently without medical insurance. By looking in some unexpected places, you may be able to take care of your medical needs without insurance and without breaking the bank.

Please take good care of your health.

Best,

Dr. Evans
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pkw123 responded:
MOST DOCTORS WILL NOT DO TESTING ON YOU, IF THEY KNOW YOU DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE. WHICH IS WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY DAUGHTER RIGHT NOW,AND SHE HAS BEEN DEALING WITH THIS FOR GOING ON THREE MONTHS.
 
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mikesanchez responded:
hello dr. evans wanted to ask you what do you charge for brief consultation. i currently when to a few dermotologist and currently on Bactrim antibiotic and topical creme it dried my acne but left marks. trying to get cleared asap thank you
 
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lorenzodiego responded:
Dr. Evans,

Costs affect not just the uninsured, but the underinsured. I had major medical coverage when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 49 upon being admitted to the hospital suffering from ketone acidosis. I had already gone into kidney failure. Having lost my job and used up my unemployment, I then got a nice multi-thousand dollar bill from the hospital. I filed the appropriate paperwork with documentation that I had no income or assets, and requested charity care. The hopsital ignored my request and sent the matter to collections. Then I got a diabetic-related infection, which added another $500 to the outstanding debt. Again, I requested financial assistance, but I was ignored.
I have maintained my major medical coverage, which does not cover insulin, but I no longer go to the doctor or endrocrinolgist because aside from the $50 copay, there is generally another $70 coinsurance bill which the insurance company sends me. So, if I just email my doctor once in awhile to let him know I'm still breathing, and once I find my way into gainful employment, I will be forced into bankruptcy because of our lovely healthcare system. After that, I still will avoid medical care simply because the cost of copays and coinsurance are outside of my ability to pay and there are no options that I can find. I have to have the money to afford the insulin, so that is just the fact of life. But hey, at least we live in a free country, right.
My point is, doctors and the financial matters are sometimes not interconnected. My doctor gets paid a salary, so he will see me whenever I need. But I don't want to rack up bills, so I refuse to go. I know that at some time I may get critically ill, but if I do, I will just ask the emergency room to make me comfortable and not to resuscitate me. Being chronically in debt due to medical needs is just not worth it from my vantage point. I suspect that many people are beginning to feel this way.


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