There are about 30 million Americans currently living with no health care insurance. It is actually more common than you may think.
There are many reasons that people may not have health care insurance, but one is that they cannot afford it on their own. Health insurance can be expensive, and not everyone has the means to pay for that, especially low-income people, and families.
Does this describe you? Are you someone that is not insured and worries about your health often?
If so, the good news is that you do not have to continue to worry as you have been! There are ways to access health care even if you do not have insurance. This is especially true for preventive care needs.
If you are ready to learn how to access preventative care without insurance, this guide is for you. Keep reading to learn more about preventive health care and how you can qualify!
What Is Preventative Care?
Preventative care is a type of care that can help you prevent serious diseases or medical problems before they become an issue. When you get preventative health care, you are getting ahead of the curve of possible illness or injury. Basically, you are checking your health when you are healthy versus waiting until you are not.
This can save you a lot of headaches down the road, as well as a lot of money, too.
This usually entails annual checkups, immunizations and shots, and certain tests that you may get at a specific age or for a specific sex.
So how does this differ from diagnostic care?
Well, diagnostic care is a service that you may get when you feel that a doctor needs to look for something specific. For instance, if you have been having issues with stomach pain, you are going to the doctor for diagnostic care rather than preventative care.
Types of Preventative Care Screenings To Get
When you go in for preventative care, you are going to be going for a specific reason and specific care. This can vary depending on if you are a male or female, a child or an adult, and a few other factors as well.
You will want to get an annual checkup at least once per year. This is when a provider will check all areas of your health. They will do a physical examination, ask a lot of questions about your mental health and physical well-being, and potentially take a blood test to rule out any other potential problems that they may not be able to physically see.
Getting an annual check-up is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. Going in for one can mean the difference between detecting something like cancer before it grows out of control and not knowing you have it until it is too late.
You don’t want to skip this! Make sure to get one every year to prevent anything from harming you and your health!
Getting a flu shot is another type of preventative care. This is to protect you from specific strains of the flu that change yearly.
A mammogram is a test for women specifically. This happens once per year.
A mammogram is meant to check the breast tissue for any signs of cancer or any other abnormalities that may be forming.
A colonoscopy is another type of preventative care that everyone will need to get in their lives. This usually starts to happen after the age of 50.
You also do not need this yearly. This is a type of preventive care that can be done every 10 years unless otherwise specified by your doctor.
Most vaccinations are done during childhood and are done for preventative measures. These can help prevent common diseases and illnesses from occurring throughout your life.
Some examples are measles, mumps, polio, and others.
Some vaccinations are not always done in childhood. For instance, after the COVID-19 pandemic, getting a COVID shot is a vaccination and considered preventative care.
Other Types of Preventative Care
In addition to these types of preventative care, there are more types as well.
For instance, if you are a woman and breastfeeding a child, you may be able to get breastfeeding support and counseling from specific providers. You can even get access to breastfeeding supplies that you may need.
You can learn more about birth control services and eligibility for birth control types such as preventative care as well. STD and STI testing may also fall under preventative care needs. These are conversations to have with your doctor to determine if you qualify and/or need these types of preventative care.
You can also check to see if you qualify for mental health services as preventative care. This can be extremely beneficial if you are struggling with your well-being.
What Doesn’t Fall Under Preventative Care?
These are the main types of preventative care visits and screenings. So what doesn’t fall under preventative care? What comes at a cost to you?
Anything considered diagnostic care is different from preventative care. For instance, if you get a mammogram and it comes back abnormal, the next follow-up mammogram will not be under “preventative” but rather diagnostic.
This goes for any type of follow-up that you may need.
Additionally, if you go for additional primary care visits, these are no longer preventative either. The same applies to specialist visits like seeing a neurologist or podiatrist for specific issues that you are having.
The Importance of Preventative Care
So what’s so important about preventative care? Is it worth the headache of figuring out when to go and how to go?
The answer is yes! Preventative care is essential for your health. There are so many benefits to getting preventative care throughout your life!
For starters, if you qualify for our free health care Clinic, preventative care is not going to cost you anything. Not paying for something that can tell you whether you are healthy or not is a great thing to take advantage of!
Additionally, early detection of medical problems and specific illnesses can mean the difference between treating them successfully so that you have a healthy life or not being able to treat them at all. Odds are, you probably prefer to be able to treat whatever is going on so that you can continue living your life how you want to!
Lastly, preventative care can help you stay on track and focused on your overall health goals. Even if nothing is wrong, you have a better picture of your overall health.
Tips for Finding Preventative Care When Uninsured
If you are not insured through the health care system, finding care can be daunting. You may not know where to start, and you may not realize that there are still ways to find care even if you aren’t insured!
There are various programs out there that can help you find preventive care. For instance, each state offers free annual Pap smears and mammograms. This is a way to ensure that all women, no matter their health care or income level, have the care they need. This is through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).
Depending on the state you are in, some will offer other types of screening as well for various types of cancers.
Your local Department of Health can help you find the right care that you may be looking for!
Apply for Medical Assistance Programs
There are medical assistance programs out there that you can apply to. This is for low-income, uninsured residents of the county. However, not every county has one.
If yours does, this medical assistance program will help you find the medical care you are looking for as well as provide any medical care you need on a no-cost or sliding-cost basis.
Utilize Clinical Trials
There are many clinical trials out there that can actually benefit you. If you have a diagnosis through preventative care, you can enter a clinical trial to help you get the care you need if you are not insured.
Additionally, some will even pay you to be a part of them! That is a win-win!
Contact Local Universities
After preventative care, if you need more treatment, you can usually contact local universities or colleges. Some of them have charity care programs where you may qualify for free or reduced care. This can help with the financial burden of the treatment that you need, specifically if it’s a longer-term treatment.
You may be able to access physical therapy and occupational therapy in these types of settings as well. For instance, dental schools sometimes offer clinics for free or at a fraction of the cost because they are practicing even though they have the right techniques and equipment to use.
How Nagel Clinic Can Help You
If you live in Bandera County, Texas area, you may qualify for help at the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. This clinic is a nonprofit provider of no-cost primary and preventative healthcare for low-income residents.
Depending on what you need, Nagel Clinic may be able to help you. The Arthur Nagel Community Clinic is a life-changing non-profit. We restore health and hope to hundreds of low-income Bandera County families.
So what does the clinic provide?
Nagel Clinic provides integrated behavioral health services like mental health counseling, prescription services, and even classes to help you live a healthier lifestyle. These are all in addition to preventative care measures like annual women’s screenings as well as other primary health care programs.
How Can You Qualify?
If you feel that going to the Nagel Clinic could help you, you need to know if you qualify for the assistance first!
There are a few things you need to know.
For starters, you need to be able to prove your identification. This means you either need a valid Texas identification card, driver’s license, passport, or social security card/birth certificate. You only need to show one of those for proper identification.
Additionally, you have to prove that you are a resident of Bandera County. To do so, you can bring a utility bill or other bill that has your current name and address on it, your lease, or a Bandera county tax statement.
Lastly, you need proof of income. This could be a recent tax return, four weeks of paycheck stubs or an unemployment letter, or a social security check.
With these pieces of information, the Nagel Clinic will determine if you are eligible to receive care through the program.
Get Preventative Care Today
If you are uninsured, there are so many ways that you can still get the preventative care that you wish to receive. It is crucial that you do so, too, because it will prevent further or more detrimental issues from occurring.
Whether you choose to enter a clinical trial, use a federal program, or have a program like the Nagel Clinic near you, they are all viable options to help you take care of yourself!
If you are in Bandera, Texas, you should definitely check out the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. We pride ourselves on helping low-income uninsured patients get the healthcare that they deserve! From mental health counseling to regular exams, we can help you.
You can choose to book an appointment by calling us at 830-796-3448, or you can simply choose to be a walk-in! Whatever is easiest for you works with us!
We can’t wait to see you and prevent any unnecessary health issues from occurring in your life!