Can you visit a freestanding emergency room with no insurance? The answer is Yes, you can.
When you or a member of your family needs emergency medical care, a lack of health insurance can mean the difference between life and death. Thanks to recent changes in American healthcare laws, obtaining insurance and getting emergency care is easier than ever.
How Has the Affordable Care Act Changed Insurance?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed a number of things for Americans:
- Everyone is now expected to carry health insurance, and being uninsured is less likely to occur.
- If you can’t afford private health insurance and don’t qualify for Medicare/Medicaid, you’re expected to enroll for healthcare.
- Patients who can’t afford regular healthcare can apply for social programs to help them cover the cost of the insurance.
- If you have no health insurance you can expect to be billed by the doctor or the emergency room.
The benefit of all this is that every American can now have health insurance unless he (or she) chooses not to do so. And every emergency room in Texas, including independent ERs, accepts insurance from the affordable care act.
How Does the Affordable Care Act Work?
In a nutshell, the Affordable Care Act is affordable health insurance cover for Americans who don’t have access to private cover or the government programs for low-income citizens. It prevents insurance companies from denying you cover based on pre-existing conditions and expands the eligibility for insurance such as Medicaid and CHIP.
You can avoid being penalized with having a monthly fee added to your federal taxes by signing up during the open enrollment period each year. By enrolling, however, 6 in every 10 Americans will be able to get coverage for $100 a month or less, and after tax credits the average plan works out at just $82 per person per month.
Why Should I Enroll in ACA?
If you have private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or VA cover, you don’t need it. If you don’t have any of those options, however, then you really do need to enroll for the care offered under the ACA. If you can’t afford it, you can apply for the various social assistance programs available.
By simply not doing so, though, you’re leaving yourself open to being hit with a tax penalty by the IRS—and that’s on top of paying for any medical care you need. So you’ll still have to pay that ER bill!
Access To ERs Isn’t Health Insurance
Being able to go to the ER means only that you’ll get the immediate care you need to stabilize your condition until you can reach a regular physician. Having access to emergency rooms doesn’t mean you’re covered.
So Where Do You Go When You Need Care?
If you are uninsured and live in Texas, you can go to any emergency room. The state has enacted legislation that affects independent ERs, so uninsured patients can rest assured they won’t be turned away.
What Can You Expect To Get From Freestanding Emergency Room?
Unlike traditional emergency rooms, which transfer patients to the affiliated hospitals once they are stable, freestanding ERs transfer patients to local hospitals as needed. For example, an uninsured patient showing symptoms of heart attack will be admitted, treated and stabilized, but won’t be able to receive ongoing care for heart disease through the ER.
Or that’s how it has always been until the Affordable Care Act.
Visiting Freestanding Emergency Room With No Insurance
The point of freestanding emergency rooms is to improve the level and quality of services available when you need critical care fast. And if you don’t have insurance to cover the cost, you’ll be expected to pay for it yourself. The Affordable Care Act offers everyone the chance to have equal access to treatment options, so don’t waste any time signing up for it. After all, you’re not only saving yourself money—you could be saving your life.