Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Job? No Health Insurance? Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help

While searching today for free medical care, I came across an inspiring story I wanted to share.

In February, Dr Richard Klein, an internist from New York, ran an ad in a local paper advertising free medical care for existing patients who had lost their job and had no insurance. It's a service he has been offering for awhile. He started it after learning one of his long-time patients didn't make an appointment to see him because he had no health insurance. The patient fell very ill and had to be seen by the emergency room. "I always tell patients, I don't want you to wind up like the guy who nearly died," says Klein.

"There's a lot of depression going on around town because people lost jobs or are about to," he explains. "If everyone reaches out to people who lost a job or have fallen upon bad times, it would be so uplifting for the community."

I read about Dr Klein's story in an article written by Russell Turk, MD, called "The Doctor is In: Out of Work? Ask your physician for a discount"

In his article, Turk hopes other health care providers will starting asking themselves what they can do to help their patients hit by the recession.

He writes "They could start by being more proactive in asking about their patients' financial situation."

Dr Klein took a great step offering and then advertising his free medical care program. Another avenue to consider: volunteering. With more and more Americans losing their jobs and their health care insurance, free health care clinics are seeing more patients than ever. These clinics often operate on donations and volunteers.

As for patients, Turk encourages them to call their physician's office, explain their situation, and ask if any assistance can be provided.

Don't be embarrassed or afraid to ask. Your doctor may offer aid, but if you don't ask, you'll never know.

Other Links of Interest:
Free Clinic Locator
Federally Qualified Health Center Locator
Discounted care courtesy of the Federal Government
Discounted Prescription Programs
Women gain access to vital screening

*Information on is for informational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your physician for any medical conditions you may have.

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