There is hope when you have no medical insurance

What to do if you have no health insurance but still need medical care”…. This subject is very near and dear to my heart.

As a nurse, I know how important it is to do whatever you have to do to stay healthy. Neglecting to stay on top of a “small” medical condition like a simple cough that won’t seem to go away can turn into a life-threatening pneumonia.

But I also know that paying for medical care is very expensive. When you have to decide whether to pay for your blood pressure pills verses food for your family or gas for your car, trying to do the right thing can become blurred.

There is hope!

There are a growing number of assistance programs to help those with no health insurance, or those who need assistance paying their premiums or co-payments. Hopefully, the resources and recommendations provided here will help make the decision to stay on top of your health clearer and easier.

    • CoverageforAll.org provides a state-by-state directory which answers many of your insurance questions and provides contact information. Some of the topics it addresses include considerations with COBRA and if alternatives are better for your circumstances, determining eligibility in programs based on the Federal Poverty Level, are you and your family eligible for Medicaid, how to apply for children’s healthcare coverage and more.To find out more go to: http://coverageforall.org/resources.
    • If you have children but have no health insurance, Insure Kids Now is a wonderful resource.Insure Kids Now is a state and Federal government program which provides medical, dental and psychological care for children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).Their website includes how to apply for coverage, finding healthcare providers in your area and more. To learn more, go to their website at www.insurekidsnow.gov or to find how to apply for coverage go to http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/state/index.html.
    • In 1993, legislation was passed to allow states to create a safety net for individuals who had been, or could be, denied healthcare coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Many states now have their own High Risk Pool (http://www.naschip.org/states_pools.htm) for those with no health insurance or those who are facing high insurance costs due to pre-existing conditions.States contract with major insurance carriers to manage the high risk pool programs and offer plans that are similar to individual policies offered by these carriers. You can even choose your own deductible.The plans are created to be affordable while providing you with comprehensive healthcare coverage.To see if your state participates in the High Risk Pool program you can go to http://www.naschip.org/states_pools.htm or, to learn more about the High Risk Pool program you can go to: http://www.naschip.org/portal/.
    • Free clinics are also an option if you have limited health coverage or no health insurance. The United States Department of Health and Human Resources provides a list of free clinics in your area. To find a health center in your area go to: http://www.hrsa.gov/gethealthcare/affordable/index.html. If you are a member of a federally-recognized American Indian or Alaska Native Tribe, services are also available through the Indian Health Service.
  • No health insurance? This is not a problem for most urgent care facilities. Most facilities are able to offer cash paying patient 20% off of their services and will work with you to provide you with the care you need.
  • Some urgent care facilities will offer a family package. Your package would include basic exams plus any urgent care you or your family may have throughout the year.My husband and I have been very impressed with the compassion and high quality care provided by the urgent care facilities near our home.Check with your local urgent care provider to see what they have to offer.
  • Nonprofit hospitals must provide you with emergency medical care regardless of your ability to pay. Often times these facilities are able to write off a certain portion of your bill and/or help you set up low payment plans if you are able to provide them with proof of your income.Some physicians may be willing to negotiate a lower rate for uninsured, cash-paying patients. This website, written by 2 doctors, should give you good reason to ask for a lower rate if you have no health insurance. It’s becoming more widely known about the disparity in the charges for healthcare costs for those with insurance and those without.Whether you are negotiating rates with a lab or healthcare provider, the Healthcare Blue Book is a wonderful resource to help you determine the cost of medical services in your area. Having an idea of how much things cost can help you with your negotiations. The Healthcare Blue Book includes the cost of basic labs, dental services and more.For a percentage of your bill, you can hire a medical negotiating company to assist you in evaluating whether or not you have been over-charged and help you with the negotiating process.

    If you would prefer to use one of these agencies or you just want to see what they have to offer, you can find a list of medical negotiation companies at www.billadvocates.com.

  • There are more and more financial assistance programs available to those with no health insurance in need of help with dental care, prescription coverage, medical care, mental health needs, and even vision.I have listed quite a few resources located at the bottom of this page and will continue to add to them as I find more and more.If you would like to find some resources on your own and share them with others, you can Google® “patient assistance programs”.Don’t forget that Schools of Dentistry and Medical Schools can often provide you with free care!

    Some church organizations can also be a resource for individuals in need of counseling and support.

  • Prescription assistance and numerous $4 generic drug programs are popping up everywhere! The $4 generic drug programs are available to those without healthcare or those without prescription coverage on their health plan. Some of the bigger $4 programs include Target, Kroger, Safe-way and Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart.Many of the larger pharmacies such as CVS, Target, Walgreens and others offer American Automobile Association club members (AAA) prescription discounts.RxAssistance (www.rxassist.org) is run by pharmaceutical companies. The program provides free medications to those who cannot otherwise afford their prescription drugs.
  • “Millions of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease can be excited today because new research in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that biosimilars are just as safe and effective as many of the expensive brand biologics prescribed for these conditions.

    The Biosimilars Council is pleased to see more science-based evidence that patients can trust biosimilars and that providers can confidently prescribe these medicines. This data reinforces the importance of core scientific principles such as bioequivalence and can help inform policymaker efforts to encourage patient access and promote biosimilar competition.”

    Other prescription programs include: RxHope (www.Rxhope.com), NeedyMeds (www.needymeds.org) and RxOutreach Assistance Program for Discount Prescription Drugs (www.rxoutreach.com).

    Many pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, and Merck also provide patient assistance programs. You can always check with the pharmaceutical manufacturer of brand name drugs to learn more about their programs for those with no health insurance, or if you need help with health coverage.

    While we are all facing challenging times, the good news is, with the growing number of assistance programs available your health does not have to suffer!

  • Older Americans with no health insurance can check for those resources and long-term care benefits and help with paying for food at BenefitsCheckup.org and Eldercare.gov.

Resources

www.naschip.org/states_pools.htm The National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans provides this link for a state-by-state break down. If you would like to know more about the high risk program you can go to their site at www.naschip.org.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/financialassistance.html The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Institute of Health is a great “one-stop shopping” site which provides you with links for Medicaid, Children’s health assistance programs, disease-specific assistance and more.

http://www.nmha.org/ go to the Affiliate Search section of Mental Health America’s website to find treatment, support groups and a host of other resources available to low income individuals or individuals with no health insurance who find themselves in need of counseling or support.

http://www.hrsa.gov/gethealthcare/affordable/index.html The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) provides a link to help you find a community health center in your area. Your local community health center can help address not only you physical, but your mental health issues as well.

http://www.thebody.com/index/hotlines/other.html The Body provides a state-by-state directory of resources available to those with HIV.

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/financialhelp/ The National Kidney and Urological Disease Information Clearing House provides listings of patient assistance programs (PAP’s) for those with kidney disease who are in need of medical and prescription coverage in addition to links to Medicare and Medicaid.

http://www.needymeds.org/ Needy Meds is a non-profit organization which provides resources for those who cannot afford medical care or prescriptions. Their website provides links to SCHIP, Medicaid, patient advocacy groups and other programs.

http://www.pparx.org/en/prescription_assistance_programs Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides links to co-payment programs in addition to links for financial assistance for prescription medications.

http://www.1dental.com/discount-dental-plans/ Carington Dental Plan provides affordable dental, vision and prescription coverage.

I was happy to see that there are quite a few dentists who are participating in this program including my dentist! HURRAY! Now I can get my teeth taken care of too!

http://www.eyecareamerica.org/ Eye Care America provides links for resources (financial assistance and more) for seniors, patients with diabetes, glaucoma, medication assistance and more for those with vision care needs.

http://www.aoa.org/visionusa.xml Vision USA is another organization which helps provide eye care to those who do not qualify for Medicaid.

http://insurekidsnow.gov/index.html You can go directly to the website for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to learn more about the program including how to apply for dental and medical care for your child.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/12/ep.health.insurance.help/index.html CNN has provided a wonderful article entitled “No Health Insurance? Get help here” This is a wonderful article which provides ideas on ways you can lower your healthcare costs if you have limited coverage or no health insurance.

http://www.healthwellfoundation.org/ HealthWell Foundation is a non-profit organization that assists those with insurance who are unable to afford their co-payments.

www.familywize.com FamilyWiz is a non-profit organization that provides free prescription discount cards. The cards can be used by those with no health insurance, and for those with healthcare coverage during deductible. This site will tell you more about the program and where to find the cards!

www.copays.org Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) Co-Pay Relief (CPR) program provides financial assistance for those who meet the medical and financial qualifications. PAF covers a vast array of healthcare conditions. Go to their website to see if you qualify.

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/financial/#financialsources The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) provides information about sources for financial assistance for complementary and alternative medicine.

https://www.usa.gov/health Health Resources from the Government is an absolute treasure chest of information!! Information on childcare, health insurance, vaccines and immunization, doctors and medical facilities, health issues, medication and food and nutrition can be found here.

Islets of Hope provides an extensive list of resources for persons with diabetes, including state-by-state resources, Canadian and New Zealand resources, charitable and private resources (including those for pump supplies), etc. An extensive source, especially if you have no health insurance and are trying to pay for diabetic supplies.

An additional page of resources can be found at ‘Insurance Resources’, which provides links to other organizations and government agencies.


Motherhealth – Health Mobile Outpatient application (in development) is inviting all doctors to join and provide video chat with patients and simple out-of-pocket costs for patients. Email motherhealth@gmail.com

 

$50k Humira drug costs per year in the USA

Adalimumab (trade names Humira and Exemptia) is a medication used for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, moderate to severe chronic psoriasis, moderate to severe hidradenitis suppurativa, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, adalimumab has a response rate similar to methotrexate, and in combination nearly doubles the response rate of methotrexate alone.[1]

Adalimumab is a TNF inhibiting anti-inflammatory biologic medication. Adalimumab binds to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα). TNFα normally binds to TNFα receptors, which leads to the inflammatory response of autoimmune diseases. By binding to TNFα, adalimumab reduces this inflammatory response. Because TNFα is also part of the immune system that protects the body from infection, treatment with adalimumab may increase the risk of infections. Adalimumab was the first fully human monoclonal antibody drug approved by the FDA. It was derived from phage display,[2] and was discovered through a collaboration between BASF Bioresearch Corporation (Worcester, Massachusetts, a unit of BASF) and Cambridge Antibody Technology as D2E7,[3] then further manufactured at BASF Bioresearch Corporation and developed by BASF Knoll (BASF Pharma) and, ultimately, manufactured and marketed by Abbott Laboratories after the acquisition of BASF Pharma by Abbott. On January 1, 2013 Abbott split into two companies, one retaining the Abbott name and the other named AbbVie. Humira is now owned by AbbVie.

Humira costs approximately $3,100 per month, like the TNF-alpha inhibitor etanercept. In 2012, Humira had $4.3 billion of sales in the US,[4] and $9.3 billion worldwide.[5] In 2014, in India the first adalimumab biosimilar at a price of $200 a dose came to market. Humira’s U.S. patent will expire in 2016.[6] In 2016, another Indian drugmaker Torrent Pharmaceuticals launched a generic biosimilar.

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My 80 yr old mother who has aches and pains from being over worked as caregiver uses turmeric and ginger, sulfur rich whole foods, veggies, vinegar, fish and massage of coconut oil with fresh ginger for her arthritis.

$10k health care cost per person in the USA

The nation’s health care tab this year is expected to surpass $10,000 per person for the first time, the government said Wednesday. The new peak means the Obama administration will pass the problem of high health care costs on to its successor.

The report from number crunchers at the Department of Health and Human Services projects that health care spending will grow at a faster rate than the national economy over the coming decade. That squeezes the ability of federal and state governments, not to mention employers and average citizens, to pay.

Growth is projected to average 5.8 percent from 2015 to 2025, below the pace before the 2007-2009 economic recession but faster than in recent years that saw health care spending moving in step with modest economic growth.

National health expenditures will hit $3.35 trillion this year, which works out to $10,345 for every man, woman and child. The annual increase of 4.8 percent for 2016 is lower than the forecast for the rest of the decade.

A stronger economy, faster growth in medical prices and an aging population are driving the trend. Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow more rapidly than private insurance as the baby-boom generation ages. By 2025, government at all levels will account for nearly half of health care spending, 47 percent.

The report also projects that the share of Americans with health insurance will remain above 90 percent, assuming that President Barack Obama’s law survives continued Republican attacks.

The analysis serves as a reality check for the major political parties as they prepare for their presidential conventions.

Usually in a national election there are sweeping differences between Democrats and Republicans on health care, one of the chief contributors to the government’s budget problems. But this time the discussion has been narrowly focused on the fate of Obama’s law and little else.

Republican Donald Trump vows to repeal “Obamacare,” while saying he won’t cut Medicare or have people “dying in the street.” Democrat Hillary Clinton has promised to expand government health care benefits.

Both candidates would authorize Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, which the report says will grow somewhat more slowly after recent sharp increases.

Obama’s health care law attempted to control costs by reducing Medicare payments to hospitals and insurers, as well as encouraging doctors to use teamwork to keep patients healthier. But it also increased costs by expanding coverage to millions who previously lacked it. People with health insurance use more medical care than the uninsured.

Despite much effort and some progress reining in costs, health care spending is still growing faster than the economy and squeezing out other priorities, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan group that advocates for reducing government red ink.

“No serious candidate for president can demonstrate fiscal leadership without having a plan to help address these costs,” she said. “No matter whether a candidate has an agenda that focuses on tax cuts or spending increases, there will be little room for either.”

The $10,345-per-person spending figure is an average; it doesn’t mean that every individual spends that much in the health care system. In fact, U.S. health care spending is wildly uneven.

About 5 percent of the population – those most frail or ill – accounts for nearly half the spending in a given year, according to a separate government study. Meanwhile, half the population has little or no health care costs, accounting for 3 percent of spending.

Of the total $3.35 trillion spending projected this year, hospital care accounts for the largest share, about 32 percent. Doctors and other clinicians account for nearly 20 percent. Prescription drugs bought through pharmacies account for about 10 percent.

The report also projected that out-of-pocket cost paid directly by consumers will continue to increase as the number of people covered by high-deductible plans keeps growing.

Wednesday’s report was published online by the journal Health Affairs


Connie’s comments: We can cut this cost to $5k if we get feedback and suggestions from the consumers (doctors,patients,nurses,etc). The users of the health care system should have a say to what works and what does not work.

Branded, Generic and Personalized based on your genes, which one would you like?

meds tox each gene each metabolites enzymes alleles to determine metabolites pharmocogenetic test

If I need a medication, I wanted to avoid adverse drug reactions and that the drug/dosage is suited to my body based on my genetic makeup. Many more lives will be spared if we have personalized medicine.

Contact Connie 408-854-1883 , motherhealth@gmail.com  if you are a doctor or medical sales rep for more info on bringing personalized medicine to all.