How to Get Free (and Low-Cost) Health Services
You might be surprised to learn there are many affordable health care services available (both for people that have health insurance and people who don’t) that are either free or low-cost. Did you know about all of these?
Free and Low-Cost Clinics
If you’re uninsured or underinsured, there are low-cost and free health clinics all over the US offering cheap health care services.
- Remote Area Medical
- More commonly known as RAM, this organization travels across the country—not just “remote” areas—to host free clinics that provide dental, vision, and basic medical care services. Check their event schedule for upcoming RAM medical clinic locations.
- HRSA Health Center Program
- According to HRSA, these health centers provide high quality preventive and primary health care regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Find the health center nearest you.
Free Cancer Screenings
- SPOTme Skin Cancer Screening (American Academy of Dermatology)
- Thanks to dermatologists who volunteer their time and expertise, SPOTme skin cancer screenings are free for participants. Find a free SPOTme skin cancer screening near you.
- National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (CDC)
- The NBCCEDP offers free and low-cost screening services for women including mammograms. Check to see if you are eligible and find a screening provider near you.
- ZERO Prostate Cancer Screening
- The folks at ZERO compiled a database of testing sites across the country that provide free prostate cancer screening services. Use their interactive map to find a prostate cancer testing site near you.
Many local and regional organizations offer these kinds of screening services free of charge, too. Check with your local American Cancer Society for information on what’s available in your area.
Free Under the Affordable Care Act
According to HealthCare.gov, most health plans (if they aren’t “grandfathered”) are required to cover certain preventive care services at no cost to you. That means no co-pay and no fees, even if you haven’t met your deductible. These are just some of the services covered:
- Autism Screening (children 18-24 months)
- Blood Pressure Screening
- Breast Cancer Mammography Screening (every 1-2 years for women over 40)
- Cervical Cancer Screening
- Diabetes (Type 2) Screening (adults with high blood pressure)
- Immunization Vaccines
- Vision Screening (all children)
- Well-Woman Visits
See all of the free preventive health services list.
There are many ways you can be proactive about your health without spending much money. Exercising, for example, doesn’t have to cost anything. Read our post Get Fit Without a Gym Membership for tips! Another tip for staying healthy? Get your flu shot. If you have insurance, this is likely covered under your plan with no co-pays thanks to the Affordable Care Act. If not, many public health departments offer flu shots during flu season free of charge, or at least on a sliding scale. Call your local health department to find out more.
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