Thursday, June 7, 2007

Free Clinic

Thinking About Health Insurance Choices? Can't afford health insurance right now?

Low- and no-cost health care.
Here are some of the resources available for various kinds of treatment.

Medical: Insure Kids Now!, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Free Clinic Foundation of America, Bureau of Primary Health Care. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Needy Meds, Partnership for Prescription Assistance Program.
Vision: Lions Club International is famous for its charity eye-care campaigns, which provide free screenings and recycled glasses. If you have a low-wage job but no vision coverage, the American Optometric Association may be able to hook you up with a volunteer doctor of optometry for a free exam. If you're 65 or over, the American Academy of Ophthalmology may be able to provide exams and treatment through its EyeCare America foundation at (800) 222-EYES.
Dental: If going to the dentist terrifies you, the idea of going to a rookie dentist probably isn't going to put you any more at ease. But dental schools provide inexpensive and well-supervised treatment. To find the one nearest you, visit the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
Some of the free clinics provide dental services, and you can check out for more links to low-cost dental providers.
Emergency care: If you're facing a life-threatening situation, hospital emergency rooms are required to evaluate and stabilize you before asking about your ability to pay. A very limited number of hospitals are required to provide such care for free if you're poor, but the vast majority can bill you (and may hound you aggressively with collection agencies).

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