Going to the Emergency Room with No Health Insurance
I started reading a lot of money blogs after an unfortunate bicycle injury. I remember lying in the middle of an intersection thinking “I don’t want to move”. It was a peaceful moment that felt like time had been put on hold. But shortly after, I heard the commotion of people yelling, saw multiple hands and arms dragging me onto the sidewalk and finally heard that familiar sound that had never been applied to me until this moment. The ambulance.
If you fall within the estimated 25% of gay and lesbians who do not have health insurance, then you can probably feel my pain. I didn’t have health insurance at the time. I had heard so many horror stories of people without health insurance paying insane amounts of money on trips to the Emergency Room. Even though I was bleeding all over the sidewalk and missing a few teeth I said “I’m not getting in there if it will cost me money”. I remember repeating this phrase numerous times, but the paramedics assured me it would be okay and that I really needed to go to the ER. So off I went!
To make a long story short (and after 2 visits to the ER), I had a broken jaw and needed it wired for a few weeks before any work could be done on my teeth. At this point, I was more concerned about how I was going to pay for all of this! Surprisingly, there were some extremely helpful people at the hospital that advised me on financial assistance. I’m sure each hospital is different, so be sure to check your hospital’s website for information.
I applied for my hospital’s “Charity Care” and was approved. This covered the ambulance cost, the ER cost (including x-rays) AND it covered the entire process of getting my jaw wired and back to normal. The only thing it did not include was the Doctor’s fee from the Emergency Room which was frustrating at the time… and well it’s actually still frustrating now because I’m still dealing with it. BUT I am very grateful that everything else was covered because who knows how much all of the jaw work would have cost! (I don’t even want to try to do the math to find out).
If you don’t get approved for Charity Care, there are other ways to receive financial assistance. Another option I tried was applying for Medicaid, but once I heard news of my approval for Charity Care, I did not proceed with the Medicaid.
During the time I was out of work with a broken jaw, I turned to the internet to figure out how to make some extra income and how the heck I was going to afford to fix my teeth (the charity care did not extend to dental work unfortunately). It is during that time that I also found Queercents!
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