keeps the doctor away! Or so they say. One of the things I miss about my job is the benefits. Medical, dental, vision, I had it. All I had to do was whip out that little card, a nominal copay and I was covered.
But after being laid off, my prayers started to sound something like, “Lord, please don’t let me get hit by a bus or face any maladies that can’t be remedied with some Robitussin (or Tussin, if I want to go generic).”
Though I’ve been blessed with great health, except asthma as a child and a broken toe in middle school (thanks Brian!), I know the pain and fear of being uninsured. While a junior in college, I had a nasty stomach virus. My BF at the time begged me to go to the hospital but I refused, even though I was throwing up green stuff and had chronic diarrhea (sorry if that’s TMI). I spent the night sitting on the cold bathroom floor and luckily the illness passed within 24 hours.
Fortunately, there are a few options to maintaining your health, even if you’re unemployed or uninsured.
FindaHealthCenter.HRSA.gov; Log on to the site to find a center in your area that offers low cost medical services, including immunizations, dental services and mental health care. They even have a nifty map to show you how far the facilities are from your neighborhood (home).
Pharmaceutical companies really should be ashamed of themselves for their exorbitant prices, but Pfizer’s MAINTAIN program is offering assistance to the newly unemployed who take the company’s medication. You have until December 31 to apply for the program and if accepted, they’ll give you free Phizer medicines for up to one year. Click for an application and full details.
Planned Parenthood: This health care facility has been around for more than 90 years, with services that range from birth control, condoms, emergency contraception, pap smears and STD and HIV testing. For some reason I used to think their treatment was only for women, but they also provide testing for men, including colon and testicular cancer screenings. They have a sliding fee scale and flexible payment options.
Chills, body aches and being laid up for days. The flu ain’t no joke! Many pharmacy clinics at Rite Aid and CVS are dispensing flu shots (usually under $30). All the Tussin in the world can’t cure a flu, so I’ll be getting my shot this week.