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Getting By with No Insurance

Getting By with No Insurance

Are you trying to get medical help and don’t have insurance? It’s scary to be sick and feel like you have no health care provider to turn to. I get that. I’ve been there. Let me start by saying that I do have medical coverage now. I was able to stay with the same policy through the whole liver cancer and transplant mess. I did spend some time without insurance, and remember what it was like.

During my first year after finding out about hepatitis C and end stage liver disease, I lost my plan. I was getting billed for 100% of those first few months of hospitalization. Then I got on a state supported plan, which helped a lot. I was able to start treatment. Eventually, I was able to go back to work full time and get coverage. I’m giving thanks for being waived any preexisting conditions.

Even though health insurance is supposed to be affordable for all, it is not. I hear from people all the time who have hepatitis C and are not covered under an insurance policy. A lot of recent letters have been from people with cirrhosis from hep C who have ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, or varices. With symptoms like jaundice or esophageal bleeding, they need medical treatment fast.

Steps to get your health care needs met with no insurance:


Go to ER

My new go-to recommendation is to hit the emergency room. You may have to sit and wait in a long line, but they cannot turn you away. They will run lab tests and give you a diagnosis for your current symptom. For example, if you are anemic, they should provide a blood transfusion or a medication to increase your hemoglobin. At the very least, they should offer nutritional counseling to help you get through your current crisis.

Make a Case

Every time you visit a medical provider, there is proof of your visit. The doctor’s office or urgent care center will give you documentation of your major physical complaint. They also are required to document what treatment was offered for your symptoms. Now you have a paper trail. Put all of these documents in an envelope and carry them on every visit and when you apply for state or federal aid.

Get on Medicaid

Although I’ve written about insurance before and how to get on, the other option is to apply for Medicaid. This is a government program for those who can’t afford health insurance. It is an income based pay scale and is available to all United States citizens.

Call Local Charities

Most big cities have churches or community centers where free medical tests are given without a lot of questions being asked. My home town has 2 where free HCV tests are given. They also try to hook people up with treatment.

These are very few options available if you are really sick getting by with no insurance. Others are in the same boat. Keep paddling until someone listens and you find the support you need for symptoms of hepatitis C.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.