What do people do for health care when they do not have health insurance?

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires hospitals to provide emergency care to anyone in need of it, but that is all that this act requires any hospital to give to anyone who is uninsured. The problem with this is, any routine checks and other doctor's visits must be paid for out of pocket, or you must have insurance to use them.

Here is a list of other possible ways to get healthcare without insurance:

  1. Be honest about your ability to pay. Talk to your provider about your financial situation and see what they can do for you. More often than not, they can find a solution to meet your needs.
  2. Check into charitable health clinics and Hill-Burton free hospital care. Doctors, dentists, nurses etc. provide volunteer medical services around the country. Hill-Burton has medical staff that provide a certain amount of free or low-cost health services in exchange for federal funding.
  3. Visit retail clinics, urgent cares, and community centers. These centers can perform small tests and do a quick check-up, and you'll probably be in and out faster than anywhere else. Try an app called itriage to help you locate the nearest one to you.
  4. Take advantage of free and low-cost screenings. There are different hospitals and organizations that offer a certain amount of free and/or low-cost screenings each year.

This isn't a comprehensive list, but there are some great options out there that most people aren't even aware of.