Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Age of NO Health Insurance {What Are We To Do}

Are you without health or medical insurance? Did the spouse with coverage lose his/her job? Or perhaps the monthly premium for your insurance has become more than you can financially afford?

Well if it’s any consolation to you, according to this article in CNN Money 49.9 million, or 16.3% of, Americans are uninsured. You’re not alone! And these numbers are rising!

Fear not! There is help and there is hope; it’s called free health care. Yes, in America, we have free health care (And, I'm not talking about Obama Care). It flies under the radar with the title of charity-care. Charity-care is an all too often unadvertised service provided by many medical institutions. In an effort to provide care for low-income persons, many hospitals have instituted charity-care programs. They just don’t advertise this to the public all too often. Charity-care is federally funded however each state has their own version of the system. These programs allow eligible individuals to receive discounted or even free health care services. Of course, you’ll need to check with your local hospital, but every hospital has defined its own charity-care policy, and most follow the same straightforward application process.

In the case of an emergency, or when applying for charity-care, here are a few things you should know:

1)It is an actual mandate under the U.S. government’s Hill-Burton Free or Reduced-Cost Care Program that was signed into law in 1946 to provide care to low-income individuals. However, you must meet certain financial criteria.
2)Use this U.S. Department of Health and Human Services link to find a health center in your area. Or look at this list to see if your local medical center is listed.
3)Scope out free clinics in your area that function under the terms of charity-care. Plug in your zip code when visiting this link to find free clinics in your town.
4)In the case of an emergency, know your rights.

See this breaking news video produced today by an ABC News affiliate in Los Angeles.

I feel like I need to inject this disclaimer. My goal here is not to advocate for socialized medicine or government health care. Nor am I advocating that you drop health care coverage if you have it. I'm not advocating for anything really. I just want to pass on information. Our country is experiencing hard times. Lots of people are finding themselves redefining their standard of living. And for many, the uncertainty can be scary. It's my goal to offer hope and a temporary solution for those who may be unemployed or unable to afford insurance at this time.

My family is without medical/health insurance at this time due to a change in jobs, and the cost of private coverage is more than we can handle presently. Nonetheless, I will tell you this: there is a misconception that having health insurance will, in effect, provide some sort of magical protection against disease. However reality says, health insurance does not make you or your family healthy! Your choices concerning such things as exposure to toxic materials, foods, level of physical exercise and time spent outdoors are a few of the things that can make you the healthiest you possible.

Note: I am in no way suggesting that this is true for everyone. Neither am I blaming people who get sick on the basis of their actions. There are SO many factors that effect one's health that are out of our control. I am sensitive to that.

It is simply my view that having, or not having, health insurance is a risk...a gamble. Insurers bank on you and me getting sick. Personally, when it comes to me and my family, I feel it's safer to bet on health rather than sickness. And how do we do that? Instead of investing monthly into a health insurance plan, we invest monthly in organic/homegrown foods, vitamins/nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, physical fitness and non-toxic homemade home/body care products.

At the end of the day, we do what is best for our families given the situations we find ourselves in. Life is fluid like that.

If you are uninsured, where by circumstances out of your control or by choice, I hope you have found encouragement and resources to help you today in this post. And as always, please feel free to comment concerning all that you have read.

See this post linked up here: Fresh Bites Friday, Living Well, Farmgirl Friday, Fight Back Friday, Farm Friend Friday, Friday Favorites, Homestead Barn Hop, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Frugal Tuesday Tip


At October 21, 2011 at 3:12 AM , Blogger Heather said...

Sometimes I wonder if we would ever pay the same amount in cash per year for health care as we do in premiums. We pay about $4k/year for our family, and typically only go to the Dr.'s once per year, if that at all. Of course the big question is if there was an emergency, we would need the insurance at that point. But, after paying into the system for so many years, would it have been better to just put that money in an account in case something happened down the line? Interesting information, thanks :-)

At October 21, 2011 at 5:53 AM , Anonymous misty said...

This is a fantastic post!!!! I agree 100%. My husband and I are small business owners. We have dropped our health insurance because a)he has MS and cant be insured privately and b)my son and I don't ever get sick. We would never get our money back unless a catastrophe occurs. But, you watch the movie John Q and think 'Crap!! I need insurance!'
We're like you. We prefer instead to focus on health to prevent doctor visits and hospital stays.
I get so annoyed when I hear about "healthcare" on the news. Its not healthcare they're talking about.....Its insurance. I wish they would change the phraseology and remember what people did before insurance.

At October 21, 2011 at 6:50 AM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Misty Yes! I agree with you! Humanity has survived thousands and thousands of years up until the invention of "health insurance." In fact, it really wasn't until about 1929 that modern group health insurance as we know it began to form. But I understand we live in a very different society now. Either way it's a tough subject.

At October 21, 2011 at 10:26 AM , Blogger Candy C. said...

I had a trip to the emergency room a couple of months ago for some stitches but ended up with "super-glue" and a tetanus shot. Because I have insurance, the bill came to over $1400!! I was there for about 45 minutes! My insurance only covered about $400 so the hospital wants us to pay the rest. I have been told that if I didn't have insurance, the bill would have only been about $300-$400 total. What's wrong with this picture?!? I feel like I'm being punished financially for doing the responsible/right thing by carrying insurance!
Thanks for a great post!

At October 21, 2011 at 10:36 AM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Candy C. The picture is messed up that's for sure! Thank you for your comment.

At October 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM , Anonymous Hannah Elise said...

There are also some other options out there: for example, Samaritan Ministries. Granted, this is not considered insurance, and it is for people of faith, but for some people (including our own family) it has proven to be an excellent alternative to the costly insurance via my husbad's job.

We are responsible for "routine" things such as chirpractic checkups not related to a specific injury ($42/visit @ ours), and well-child visits for my son ($35/visit @ our family dr), but needs over $300 are submittable for coverage. So basically, it's covering our backs in case of emergency, but allows us to pay less in "premium" (though, not being a health insurance provider, they aren't technically premiums) each month and tuck any extra aside into savings for things that are routine and/or under $300. There is the added bonus that a) our monthly share goes directly to another person's need, and b) SM doesn't cover things that we don't agree with, such as abortions, which ARE covered by many insurance providers, and therefore your typical premium would go to support that.

The cost?
$135 - single share
$270 - a couple
$200 - single-parent family
$320 - two-parent family

It's educed for young adults (25 and under), which includes our family as hubby and I are only 22:
$99 - single share
$199 - couple
$149 - single parent family
$249 - two-parent family

And, the monthly share is reduced $30/month for each member of the household who is 65 or older.

It's not for everyone, but for some this might be a viable option, so I tought I would share. Plus, you get a $170 credit on a month's share when you refer smeone to Samaritan, so if you decide to pursue this and want to stick my name in the "referrer" box, feel free to email me ( :)

At October 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Anonymous Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable said...

@Hanna Elise Thank you for sharing this. I going to look into it! Thanks again.

At October 24, 2011 at 6:13 AM , Anonymous Carol J. Alexander said...

Thanks for your thoughts and information, Andrea. Visiting from the Barn Hop. This is definitely an issue in this country at this time. We, too, struggle with it. I will be checking out your links.

At October 24, 2011 at 7:25 AM , Anonymous Kelli said...

Thanks for the information. I try to avoid conventional medicine and use natural therapies that don't require health insurance.

At October 24, 2011 at 8:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We just recieved our new rate for 2012 and our premiums have increased $147.00 per month making our premiums $1200.00 a month. BCbS has priced us out of insurance. WE cannot afforded this any longer. There has to be another way for families not to lose everthing they own without paying this ridilious amount per year. And they do not cover everything anyway plus a deductible per yr. I am so burned out on ins.

At October 24, 2011 at 10:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with poster #1. Put the money into a savings account (or under your mattress which might be even better and more safe!) rather than pay premiums to huge insurance companies so they can use your money. How ridiculous is that? I never have been a fan of insurance, and my DH and I are both self-employed so we have none. Truthfully, we don't want insurance because we rarely use doctors for anything. We eat a healthy WAPF type diet and are quickly approaching our 60's in total health. The insurance industry props up the medical industry and vice versa. Why would I want to contribute to that nightmare??

For some good information on health, read here:

Explore all the links (especially the one on vaccines and the one called Doors of Perception). Good stuff, although I don't follow his diet advice or buy his products, still the other stuff he writes is excellent and on-the-money.

At October 24, 2011 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gonna have to second the comment in favor of Samaritan Ministries!! We simply love it. They expect you to take care of your own health, but they are there for those times when you need outside help--i.e. a pregnancy. Look into it!!

At October 25, 2011 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Julia, Des Moines Frugal Family Examiner said...

Thanks for linking to the Frugal Tuesday Tip.
We've been without medical insurance for years with dh's self-employment, and we use free clinics for camp and school physicals annually. We've also used a free sports injury assessment in our area, which may be something other places offer, too:

At October 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM , Anonymous Jen said...

Excellent post and great discussions! Thanks for sharing!

At October 28, 2011 at 5:27 PM , Anonymous Jill said...

Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

If you have grain-free recipes please visit my Grain-Free Linky Carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge! It will be open until November 2.


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