Help is Out There: Where to Turn When You Don’t Have Health Insurance

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Where To Turn When You Don’t Have Health Insurance
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By Tim McCarron, Hamilton Community Health Network

Healthcare insurance is not a very exciting topic, nor is it one most of us really want to delve into if we don’t have to. Yet, it’s one of those things that we all need to figure out. With ‘open-enrollment’ closing last month, it may seem as though you don’t have any options for 2020 coverage. Fortunately, there is what is called a ‘special enrollment’  if you’ve had certain life events such as losing healthcare coverage, moving, marriage, having a baby, or adopting a child. Plus, keep in mind that Medicaid programs, such as the Healthy Michigan Plan for adults, does not have a specific enrollment period, so people are welcome to apply at any time of the year.

Another option for people living in Genesee County is the Genesee Health Plan, which is not full coverage, but does allow people to get to their primary care and specialist isits, as well as get labs, x-rays and prescriptions fulfilled. The Genesee Health Plan also 0ffers a dental benefit through Delta Dental, which covers preventative services at 100 percent and oral surgeries, and even dentures at 70 and 80 percent. Keep in mind, however, Genesee Health Plan is not full coverage and will not protect you for emergency room or inpatient hospital visits should an emergency arise.

Federally  Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are a great option for those who are without health  insurance or may be under-insured. FQHCs, such as Hamilton Community Health Network, often provide a sliding fee scale for those who qualify. At Hamilton Community Health Network, this includes primary care services, vision, dental  cleanings, pediatrics, behavioral health, and even pharmacy is part of the scale. Those  without insurance can get their medical needs met in one convenient location and have  the discount applied throughout the range of services. But before making an appointment, you must apply for the sliding fee scale.

Another tip to finding your way through the healthcare maze is connecting with certified application counselors and navigators that specialize in guiding you through the myriad of programs and options available. The easiest way to find help is by calling Hamilton Community  Health Network’s dedicated insurance help line at  810.787.5097. Or you can  visit healthcare.gov and click the “Find Local Help” button. Look for the term ‘assisters’ as opposed to ‘agents/brokers’ as assisters are not tied to any health insurance companies and will be unbiased when it comes to helping you find a plan that works for you.

The most important thing to remember if you do not have insurance coverage is there is help in Genesee county and most counties throughout Michigan. You can call Hamilton at 810.406.4246 for details.

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