Medical Care: Uninsured

<p>Oldest college-grad child is coming in briefly this summer from overseas, and she wants to see all the doctors & dentists she' neglected these past two years, renew prescriptions, etc.</p>

<p>When she saw all those professionals previously she was covered under our health insurance. Now she is uninsured.</p>

<p>I've read that uninsured patients are typically charged more. And I've seen price variations firsthand, on the pharmacy side of things, when I had some of her medications refilled, self-pay. Are there particular types of medical practices that have more reasonable fees for patients without health insurance?</p>

<p>We live in Westchester County, NY, D can go here or NYC. She wants to see a GP, gynecologist, dermatologist, dentist, who knows what else.</p>

<p>Check your local hospitals for MD referral services; call the various offices for fee schedules.</p>

<p>It might be worth the money to get a short term policy via ehealthinsurance.com. Look at fee for service and HMO type plans and compare copay + premium costs to full pay.</p>

<p>And monydad, what is the plan if these check-ups identify a problem?</p>

<ol>
<li>She should get health insurance if at all possible. If she is in good health, she may be able to find an affordable policy. Or, can she be insured under your policy under the new health care legislation?</li>
<li>You are correct that she will be charged more uninsured than if she were insured. If she is still uninsured when she visits her doctors, she should tell them she is uninsured and see if they will discount their fees. Some doctors and dentists will.</li>
<li>She should check out community health and dental clinics in your area. She may be able to find low-cost services there.</li>
</ol>

<p>But, again, I wish to emphasize that she should obtain health insurance. She will not be treated kindly by our nation's health-care system without it.</p>

<p>First of all, didn't NY state just pass a bill that dependent children up to the age of 29 are suppose to eligible to be covered under there parents insurance?</p>

<p>"Age</a> 29" Dependent Coverage Extension</p>

<p>Our grad school son was kicked off of my employer plan last Dec.
(Hope he will be added back on this coming Jan).</p>

<p>We opted for a high deductible plan, covers little until deductible reached, then 100%.
It cost is small, $100/month.
But we are finding that if he uses Drs and labs in network, he DOES get the negotiated (lower) in network rates for services. That has already 'saved' him/us several hundred dollars.....AND he is covered for the big stuff should it happen.</p>

<p>ehealthinsurance.com; just a good starting point.</p>

<p>People without insurance pay the most. However, many health care providers will discount/have payment plans for the uninsured. Just talk with the provider.
She could also go to a public health type clinic for the uninsured.</p>

<p>People without insurance do not get the benefit of only paying what the insurance ALLOWS as a reasonable and customary charge. In other words...if the doctor charges $200 and the insurance only "allows" $100 and they participate in your plan...you would only be paying $100. My son with the high deductible policy has benefited from this.</p>

<p>I would agree...get her coverage. Check the Tonik plans through Anthem. If you happen to live in one of the five states they cover...that would be a great deal.</p>

<p>Re: NY's law...it's like everyone else's. Coverage can CONTINUE for those who are currently covered. To add someone, you might have to wait until your company's open enrollment period IF the under 29 year old is not currently covered under your plan.</p>

<p>Depending on where she is overseas it might be much less expensive to get her healthcare checkups there before she returns to the states. Otherwise I agree with others that it might be less expensive to get some health insurance for 3-6 months or how ever long it takes to get everything completed. I would guess that for an office visit to all of the specialists you mention it could run easily into thousands or more depending on anything diagnosed for treatment (dental with a full set of xrays, cleaning etc., a full physical and pap and immunization updates, and who knows how much for a dermatologist.)</p>

<p>Thanks but we've been through this drill before, our experience in the past is she cannot get affordable insurance on her own due to certain pre-existing conditions. she was relegated to the high risk pool, in a different state, which was completely unaffordable except for humongous deductibles, which made it equivalent to self pay. Except we paid for the insurance on top of that.</p>

<p>Save for this brief visit she will not be using any in-plan doctors because she will be back overseas again. Unfortunately she does not trust the qualty of care she would be receiving in her overseas country, and has some communications issues there.</p>

<p>"And monydad, what is the plan if these check-ups identify a problem?"</p>

<p>The economical providers you people will have identified for us via this thread will help us deal, and we will have to pay. what other choice is there, for someone who can't get insurance?</p>

<p>The wife will follow up with her firm on when this NY State extension kicks in, it would of course solve everything if she could resume coverage on our plan. But for sake of this thread assume for now it will not be available to her for this trip.</p>

<p>"She could also go to a public health type clinic for the uninsured. "
Does anyone know of any such clinic??</p>

<p>"It might be worth the money to get a short term policy via ehealthinsurance.com."
as I mentioned our experience with individual health insurance for her was not positive. However, in any event that website says that short term policies are not available in our area.</p>

<p>"Check the Tonik plans through Anthem. If you happen to live in one of the five states they cover...that would be a great deal."</p>

<p>Tonik is only available for purchase in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire and Nevada. </p>

<p>However, as I said, based on past experience I doubt she would survive the fine print to get coverage, even if we lived in one of these states.</p>

<p>Monydad- The dentist should be fairly straight forward. Many people do not have dental insurance. We don't have dental insurance and we have found our bills to be reasonable. They also seem to have fairly standard prices for most items. This past year I had 3 crowns plus H had some dental work done. My H called the dentist office and asked if they could work with the bill. We have used this same dentist for years. The office manager called H and offered 25% off the bill since we paid our bill by check.
Does she plan to use some of her same Dr's or people that other family members use. Call the offices and see if they are willing to offer her a discount based on your family connection to the practice.</p>

<p>monydad,
The insurance companies will issue the policy; what makes them short term is how long you pay the premium. When DD#1 graduated, our insurance dropped her on the last day of the graduation month. Her new job began coverage part way into the next month. We bought the policy to cover the very short interim.</p>

<p>Not sure how long your D has been uninsured, but I was under the impression that pre-existing conditions can be excluded from coverage if there was a long enough gap.</p>

<p>If there is a form to fill out and she has to detail her past medical history on it, she will be denied coverage, is our experience. Its not so much that they will exclude certain of her pre-existing conditions, rather due to these conditions they will deny her coverage altogether.</p>

<p>OK..what am I missing? If my kiddo had a serious enough preexisting condition that she could be denied insurance...I would scrub floors to GET her coverage. What if something happens health wise to her. That could be more expensive than a high deductible insurance policy.</p>

<p>you are missing intimate knowedge of the circumstances which are beyond the scope of this thread. My inquiry is limited to identification of the more affordable health care providers available to the uninsured .</p>

<p>monydad,
Has your daughter become a legal resident of her overseas country, or is she still a legal resident at your address?
Does your daughter have an income other than your support?</p>

<p>The health care options for uninsured that I am aware of all require verification of eligibility (income documents and proof of residency).</p>

<p>"The health care options for uninsured that I am aware of .."</p>

<p>what are these?</p>

<p>FWIW, if your kid was making virtually no money while abroad all last year, or studying abroad, or freeloading in your house all last year also making no money, there would be no difference in ability to document proof of US residency, so far as I can tell. No income tax returns either way, no separate lodging or utility bills either way, etc. She would still have a driver's license with our address on it, some bank statements addressed to her at this address, her bed is still here, etc. In either case. .</p>

<p>What about buying travelers insurance to visit the US, like Canadians do? We are looking that for DD who lives abroad, she is covered on NHS in country, but will need to buy a travel plan to come here.</p>

<p>Also, if she decides to stay uninsured, call ahead & call around and see who offers cash discounts</p>