Health insurance is an important part of financial and health security, but for some, it’s just not a reality. Whether you are between jobs or just can’t afford insurance, you may have to learn how to deal with uninsured life. Here’s how you can make the best of a difficult situation.
Stay healthy. It may be easier said than done, but if you don’t have health insurance, it’s obviously easier to deal if you just don’t get sick in the first place. Follow careful hygiene, wash your hands carefully, and stay away from sick people. Be sure to eat right, exercise, and take vitamins for the best preventive medicine you can give yourself on your own.
Save up. You will probably have to deal with medical costs at one point or another, and paying out of pocket for your health bills can get very expensive. Start a savings account to set aside money that’s specifically for health care costs.
Document everything. When it’s time to do your taxes, don’t forget about the money you’ve spent on your health care, especially if it’s been an expensive year. The IRS will allow you to write off some of all of what you’ve spent on your health care-which is the bright side to having to spend a lot on medical care.
Negotiate. Insurance companies are able to get good health care deals because they ask for them, and you should be able to do that also. Talk to your doctor and find out if you can get a discount for paying early or with cash. Ask for freebies of prescriptions, and try to get generic versions whenever possible.
Keep an eye out for free screenings. Health fairs and local health departments often give free screenings to check your blood pressure and do other routine exams. Check out dental schools and other facilities where you may be able to get free or greatly reduced care.
Don’t neglect your health. It’s easy to neglect your health if you think you can’t afford it, but you can’t afford to not take care of yourself. Try telephone doctors, nurse practitioners, and pharmacy clinics to get the care you need at a lower cost-and avoid letting small problems become big ones.
Living without health insurance isn’t easy, but it can be done. Take advantage of the resources available to you in order to get the best health care experience possible, and be sure to stay on top of your good health.
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