Deal Finder: How to afford Medical Care, Prescriptions without Health Insurance

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By LaTina Emerson, The Shopper Deal Finder

Most people receive their health insurance through their employer, so losing a job can also mean losing your health insurance. If you’re suddenly without health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you shouldn’t have to choose between your health and paying for food and basic necessities. Here are some ways to afford medical care and essential prescriptions if you don’t have health insurance:

Coweta Samaritan Clinic: Coweta Samaritan Clinic at 137 Jackson Street in Newnan offers free primary medical care to uninsured Coweta County residents who meet certain income limits. Individuals ages 19 and older can receive free medical care if they are residents of Coweta County, have no health insurance and have a household income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

The clinic diagnoses, treats and manages chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, depression and respiratory disease. It also provides wellness visits and diagnoses and treats acute illnesses. Patients have access to specialists in cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gynecology and neurology who volunteer their services at Coweta Samaritan Clinic, as well as other local specialists and surgeons who accept patient referrals from the clinic.

Coweta Samaritan Clinic also assists patients with getting expensive branded medications and insulin at no charge from patient assistance programs of major drug companies.

Patients are seen by appointment only. The clinic does not accept walk-ins or provide emergency or urgent care. Coweta Samaritan Clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, visit https://www.cowetasamaritanclinic.org, call 770-683-5272 or email [email protected].

PeachCare for Kids: When parents lose their jobs, they also lose healthcare for their children. Parents can seek assistance from PeachCare for Kids, a comprehensive health care program for uninsured children living in Georgia.

PeachCare for Kids offers primary, preventive, specialist, dental and vision health benefits, as well as hospitalization, emergency room services, prescription medications and mental health care. Each child will have a Georgia Families Care Management Organization that is responsible for coordinating their care.

For more information, visit https://dch.georgia.gov/peachcare-kids, call 877-427-3224 or email [email protected].

Healing Bridge Clinic: Healing Bridge Clinic at 215 Willow Bend Road in Peachtree City provides free primary health care to uninsured residents of Coweta, Fayette and South Fulton counties who are within the 200 percent federal poverty income level guidelines.

Healing Bridge Clinic offers general medicine, cardiology, dermatology, chiropractic, limited denture, limited vision, mental health counseling, addiction counseling and physical therapy services.

Patients must schedule an appointment before coming to the clinic by calling 770-681-0157 or emailing [email protected]. The clinic is open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and the third Monday of each month from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit https://healingbridgeclinic.org.

YourTown Health: YourTown Health has six non-profit Community Health Centers that serve Meriwether, Pike, Lamar, Coweta, Carroll and South Fulton counties. YourTown Health provides quality health care to all patients, even if they don’t have health insurance or live in the same county as the centers. Individuals with Medicare or private insurance who have difficulty paying their co-pays can apply for the sliding fee scale to have the co-pays reduced.

YourTown Health provides primary health care services, including chronic disease management, pediatric and adolescent care, immunizations and flu shots, patient assistance programs for free or low-cost prescription medications, women’s health, obstetrics and gynecology, prenatal, laboratory services, geriatric care, bilingual staff for Hispanic patients, behavioral health and referrals to specialists. The health center also offers in-house pharmacy services, which pass medication savings on to patients. Nearby locations include:

Senoia (Coweta County): 48 Main St., Suite 3A, Senoia, Ga. 30276, 678-723–0400

Palmetto (Fulton County): 643 Main St., Palmetto, Ga. 30268, 770-463–4644

Carrollton (Carroll County): 202 Croft St., Carrollton, Ga. 30117, 770-834–2255

For more information, visit http://www.yourtownhealth.com.

Use Cheaper Medications: Ask your doctor if you can be prescribed cheaper medication options, such as generic drugs. Generic medications often cost less than brand name drugs, but they’re not always identical matches for brand name medications. Therefore, it’s important to consult with your physician to see if a generic version exists for your specific medication.

Seek Help from Prescription Assistance Programs: Many companies now offer prescription assistance programs, which provide financial assistance to those who can’t afford their medications. Patients can call the drug manufacturer directly or apply for these programs through sites such as HealthWell Foundation, myAbbVie Assist, NeedyMeds and RxHope, according to the website for The Dr. Oz Show. Patients can find out the name of the company that manufactures their prescription by checking their prescription label or calling their pharmacy.

Find Discount Coupons: Look for prescription discount coupons on websites such as GoodRx, RetailMeNot and WebMD. SharecareRx can also help patients compare prices, get free coupons and save up to 80 percent at the pharmacy with a free prescription discount card, according to the website for The Dr. Oz Show.

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