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Home > Health Insurance Basics > Finding Health Care > Need Care Now? Getting Services Without Insurance

Need Care Now? Getting Services Without Insurance

Emergency Room This page has tips to help you get care now, if you do not have any health insurance.

In an emergency

Call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency department at the nearest hospital.

It's an emergency if waiting to get care could be dangerous to your life or a part of your body.  By law, a hospital must provide emergency care.  You may get a bill. Ask about discounted or charitable hospital care.

Urgent care or primary care services

Urgent care is when it's not an emergency, but you need care within a day or two. Primary care includes regular check-ups and appointments for common conditions.

Search for no-cost or low-cost services in your area:

If you need to pay for services

If you do not qualify for free services, you have to pay all or part of the bill.  If possible, ask the doctor or hospital about costs before you get care.  Ask about discounts and charity care if you cannot afford to pay.

  • It is often hard to get exact costs ahead of time. You may need more services than expected. And your bill often lists several charges, for different services, like shots or X-rays.
  • The law says that a hospital must give you a written estimate of charges if you do not have insurance.  The hospital must also give you information about financial aid programs and charity care.
  • Every hospital must have a price list of its 25 most common procedures.  You can find these price lists at the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
  • Some non-profit clinics and health centers charge on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay.
  • Ask the provider if you can get a discount by paying with cash or with a credit card.
  • Ask the provider if you can make payments. Many providers will work out a payment plan if you can't afford to pay all at once.
  • Learn more about paying for hospital care and what to do if you get a bill at www.hospitalbillhelp.org.
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