My HealthCare Journey Before Obamacare: Financial Assistance

Do you want to know one of the best kept secrets in healthcare pre Obamacare---excuse me---I mean pre Affordable Care Act?

Some, if not most health care systems, have some type of financial assistance available for those of us who have no insurance.

How else do you think those medical bills for my yearly check ups were getting paid?

As you can expect, the level of assistance is dependent upon your financial situation.  You will have to submit the required paperwork but I can personally vouch that it's worth the effort.

With the Affordable Care Act under constant assault in late 2012, I had no idea if the program was actually going to happen.  I couldn't hedge my bets and continue to walk around with zero healthcare coverage.

Not only did I need to maintain my yearly physical, pap and mammogram schedule but what would happen if I was the one who got hit but a bullet while waiting for a bus?  While I love my neighborhood, I know where I live.  I know that standing next to the wrong person could result in someone innocent getting hurt.

A major medical bill would financially devastate me into my retirement.

And as much as I hate to acknowledge it, retirement age isn't too far away.

Luckily, my amazing primary care physician, gave me the heads up on my healthcare group's financial assistance program.  While in theory it sounds like all you have to do is submit one set of paperwork to one billing office, the reality is far from that simple.

While one entity handled the billing for my doctor and her services, another entity handled the billing for the tests that she ran.  While yet another handled the billing for the hospital itself.  All in all I had to submit three separate sets of forms to make sure that all of my basic medical years medical exams and tests were covered.

I didn't want to miss something and wind up being responsible for a huge hospital bill that I can't even begin to pay.

To be honest with you, going through the process of applying for medical financial assistance was far less taxing than applying for expanded medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

At least the hospital and all of the subsidiaries didn't leave me confused, give me conflicting information and take five months from when I started to finally render a decision.

I wish I could say the same for the federal government.


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