Last week we reported some ways uninsured twentysomethings have found to combat the high cost of living without health insurance.
A long-uninsured reader we will call Steve (on his request) has another tip: visit clinics that cater to Houston's Hispanic population. An Anglo who lives in a Hispanic neighborhood, he reports that the Latino clinics "do a very good job for a broader range of ailments than your might imagine."
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One of the subjects in our story was Josie Gardner, a 28-year-old with very high blood pressure who could not afford the electrocardiogram that she had been recommended. Steve is in the same boat, but says that the clinic was willing to treat him as if he had taken the test. "The cost of the visit was $35," he reports. "My blood pressure medication is $4 a month. Even though I agree that seeing a cardiologist would be ideal, I'm sure I'm way, way better off going this route rather than doing nothing at all."
Steve says he would be willing to share the name of this inexpensive doctor if anyone is interested. (You'd have to send your requests through me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will forward them on.) This doctor teaches at a medical college when he is not charging his patients a mere $50 per visit at his barrio clinic.
Steve also reports that many generic meds can be found at Kroger, Walgreens and CVS for $4 per month, but that even better deals can be found at Costco. You don't even need a membership card to use their pharmacy, he says.
So there you go -- who said Hair Balls didn't care about you? And if you have any other tips on how to get by without insurance, feel free to leave them in the comments