5 Great Resources to Help Uninsured Patients

The medical industry is one of today’s most stable career fields. Those who work in the industry have access to a range of employment opportunities. With a healthcare degree, you can work as an administrator, a technician or a physician’s assistant. Once you begin working in the career field, you’ll likely have patients who lack health insurance. When you do, you can help them by recommending resources like:

• Medicaid
• The Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP
• The American Kidney Fund or AKF
• The Centers for Disease Control or CDC
• Federally Qualified Health Centers or FQHCs

1. Medicaid

If a patient does not make enough to pay for health insurance, then he or she may qualify for Medicaid. People of all ages are eligible for the program, and it is the largest healthcare funding source for the country’s low-income population. The nation’s states and the federal government fund the program jointly. United States citizens and legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicaid’s benefits. Low-income adults along with their children may qualify. In addition, those who suffer from certain disabilities may also be eligible for the program.

2. Children’s Health Insurance Program

If you wind up treating an uninsured child, be sure to tell his or her parents to apply for CHIP. The program is a safety net since it provides health coverage for kids whose parents are unable to qualify for Medicaid because they earn too much. In a few states, parents can also qualify for CHIP. Each state’s CHIP program works with Medicaid to ensure that low-income individuals are getting the help that they need. People can apply for CHIP any month of the year, and when someone applies, the program’s administrators will check the applicant’s income level automatically to see if they qualify for an individual insurance plan.

3. American Kidney Fund

The AKF is an organization that works to ensure that every person with kidney problems has access to medical care. The group also focuses on helping those who are at risk of developing kidney disease take steps to prevent it. Patients can turn to the AKF for charitable assistance. The organization helps people pay for their health insurance premiums. It also provides funding for treatment-related expenses. If your patient is a child, be sure to tell his or her parents about the organization’s summer enrichment activities. You can also refer noninsured patients to the organization for details regarding kidney failure and chronic kidney disease.

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For women, the CDC offers diagnostic services and screening. Refer your patients to the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which is run by the CDC. Women with limited incomes are eligible for breast exams and cervical cancer screenings. If needed, diagnostic testing is available as is testing for human papillomavirus. The program has been in place for more than 20 years, and when you refer a woman to the CDC’s program, advise her to check the agency’s website as it will give her a listing of the screening providers in her area.

5. Federally Qualified Health Center

The federal government supports community-based health centers. These clinics are available for low-income individuals, and they offer preventative treatments as well as general healthcare services. Community-based health centers charge for service based on a sliding fee discount. If an individual or a family has an annual income that is at or lower than 100 percent of the nation’s federal poverty guidelines, then the clinic can only charge these patients a minimal fee. People with income levels that range from 100 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level will be charged based on a sliding discount scale. Healthcare facilities charge this according to the income level and size of the family.

The medical field is often a top paying one. Many healthcare careers allow you to obtain employment without requiring you to earn a graduate degree. However, you may need specialized training or additional certification. By working in the healthcare industry, you’ll have a career that helps people.