Cannot afford deductible and copays

I have health insurance, but I still can’t afford to go to the doctor.  The deductible and co-pays are more than I can pay.  Since I have health insurance, I don’t qualify for health department programs or Medicaid.  What can I do?

Stuck in the Middle

Dear Stuck in the Middle,

Having health insurance does not prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid. Medicaid is based upon family income and assets, not on health insurance.  If you haven’t already, you should apply.

Likewise, don’t assume that health department programs exclude people who have insurance. Call and ask, and explain your situation. There are lots of people in your shoes.

If you do not qualify for Medicaid or sliding fee scale clinics, you can ask your doctor’s office for help. They could offer you a payment plan, and they may have other ideas and options for you.

In 2014, you may qualify for help to pay for your plan and/or for your deductible and co-pays.  Make sure you visit the health insurance exchange for your state; it will be open as of October 1, 2013.  A navigator can help you figure out what help you could qualify for.  Watch for information about your state’s exchange later this fall.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.