Archive for June, 2012

No Insurance, What To Do?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Many people locally and nationally are without health care coverage due to many causes. Some include unemployment, not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare due to income or age requirements, taken off AHCCCS rolls, dropped from insurance plans due to unemployment, or inability to obtain insurance for preexisting conditions. Majority of Americans are covered by health insurance third party private or government entitlement programs Medicare Medicaid and/or government employee (military or public employee). There is a significant portion of population (25 million) who do not have insurance of any type.

How to obtain care and navigate the existing health care system can be problematic and expensive for most. When I first stated practicing medicine in mid 1970s most office practices allocated 10-15% of care for indigent patients. With the development of government programs and EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor ACT) law many physicians stopped this practice and referred patients to emergency departments across the country. Private practices seldom care for the uninsured due high overhead costs which include malpractice costs, office employees and small business costs (rent utilities). The EMTALA law passed by congress in 1986 provided a national safety net for health care. Due to the EMTALA law passed by Congress all patients must be evaluated by a provider in emergency departments across the country regardless of ability to pay, nationality or availability of insurance coverage.

(more…)