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Top Ten Things You Can Do if You Don’t Have Health Insurance

#10 Discount Drug Cards
You may have thought discount drug cards are a scam but they really can work for you. Here are some websites where you can print out a discount card, that can save you 15-50% off your prescription: www.yourrxcard.com, www.drugcardamerica.com, www.rxdrugcard.com. All you have to do is fill out your name and address and print out a card. You can check the website for participating pharmacies and drugs that are covered. I have used this on a prescription and saved about $20-30 a month.

#9 Drug Samples
If you don’t have health insurance, prescriptions can be expensive. Next time you go to see your doctor, ask them if they can give you any samples of your prescription. They usually have some laying around and don’t mind giving you what they can. My doctor used to give me almost 6 months worth of samples at a time – this saved me about $300!

#8 Hold a Prescription Until You Really Need It

Basically, if you get a prescription for anti-biotics or a z-pak, go ahead and get it filled but only use it when you really need it. So, you will have medicne on-hand when you get very sick. Just make sure it does not expire before you use it.

#7 Generic Medicines
There is a warning that generic medicines sometimes do not hold up as well as the name brand meds. But if you find that the prescription you need is a close match and you have no adverse side affects, you can save 20-60% of the cost for your medicine. A lot of big chain pharmacies have discount programs in place for generics so that you can save.

#6 Preventative Measures
This is the best way to save if you don’t have health insurance – don’t get sick! Haha, I know, impossible, right? But if you take preventative measures the likelihood of getting sick will diminish. The most important thing to do is wash your hands and do not touch your nose and eyes. A lot of times we think that our hands are clean and rub or scratch our eyes or nose – this is the best way for bacteria to enter into your system! Eat plenty of citrus, veggies and drink lots of water. Check out Prevention Magazine for more tips at: www.prevention.com.

#5 Free Clinics
A lot of communities have free clinics that you can go to when in need of medical help. Some places hold odd hours or are only open certain hours of the day, but contact your jobs and family services center to find out where a free clinic near you is located. It is kind of a pain not to get immediate assistance but it is free.

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#4 The Health Department
Another great place to go when you are sick or need simple medical procedures or tests is your local health department. It does cost you a little but nowhere near how much it would cost to go to a doctor or ER. Some places require you to get an appointment for certain things, but usually you can just walk right in.

#3 Free Flu Shots
In the beginning of flu season some health departments, local grocery store pharmacies and even retail stops have those who administer free seasonal flu shots. Call your local health department or community center to find out where you can get one. I was a manager at a large thrift store chain and they had health department workers who would come in and set up a table and administer free flu shots to those who wanted one while their supplies lasted.

#2 Ask Your Local Hospital About Any Grants That They Might Have
A lot of hospitals have programs that they officiate dealing with grants to administer free testing or services to those in need. For example, our local hospital has a grant to give free mammograms to those who do not have insurance and are at high-risk.

#1 Befriend a Nurse or Doctor
Most people have a nurse or doctor in their circle of family and friends. You can ask for their free opinion if there is something that is ailing you and maybe be able to reach a diagnosis. There are also a lot of online sites that explain in detail certain ailments, their symptoms and treatment, such as www.webmd.com. I know this is not the best possible way to get help but it could save you a lot of money on tests if you already have an idea of what is wrong with you. Then, if you go into the doctor’s office with knowledge you can curtail any unnecessary tests and treatments.

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