When you have no health insurance, you’re less likely to be seen by a doctor, but you’re more likely to have a chronic illness.
So it’s no wonder that a large share of Americans—including the majority of Americans in rural areas—are having trouble keeping up with the demands of caring for their families.
“I was in the emergency room a couple of times,” says a woman who works for a nursing home in a rural area of Montana.
“They’d give me the same antibiotic I use for everything else.
I’d say, ‘I’ll be fine.’
They’d tell me to get a doctor’s appointment.”
The same thing happens when you’re in a nursing facility or long-term care home.
People with chronic conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease need more time to recover, and they don’t necessarily have the same level of access to health care as people with less serious conditions like diabetes or cancer.
“It’s hard for people with chronic health conditions to access quality care because they’re getting care on a different schedule,” says Dr. Maryann Hirschhorn, who heads the Center for Research in the Aging and Disability of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“You have to get through two or three appointments a day, or you’re not going to get any care.
You have to walk to the hospital, which is very expensive.
And then you have to come back in three weeks.”
For people who live alone, the pressure of running their own lives is especially high.
According to a recent report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, about 30 percent of Americans live alone.
“Living alone is a really hard thing to do, because you’re very alone,” says Sarah Breen, a spokesperson for the American Association of People with Disabilities.
“If you live alone in your home, it’s like you’re on your own.”
For the average American household, this can mean being on the road, travelling, or spending a lot of time away from family members.
“The isolation and isolation that is associated with living alone is really stressful,” says Breen.
“There’s not really a lot you can do about it.”
But what if you’re able to make it to the emergency department for an emergency?
You’re not alone if you can get to the ER without having to go out to the car to get there, says Baren.
If you have insurance, it doesn’t matter how long you live or what you’re doing at home.
You’re just as likely to get treated as someone with insurance who’s not living alone.
But it’s important to understand that there are exceptions to the rule.
“In most states, you don�t need a medical emergency to get emergency care, even if you have a pre-existing medical condition,” says Hirschton.
“But there are cases where you need to have an emergency in order to get the care you need.”
What if you donít have a medical insurance policy?
If you live in a state that does not have a health insurance program for people who don’t qualify for Medicaid, you might be able to go without health care for an extended period of time.
But in many states, the federal government will not pay for coverage for people whose insurance is canceled due to pre-payment.
You can also find out if you qualify by visiting your state’s website.
A quick Google search will tell you if you�re eligible, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the help you need, especially if you live on a tight budget.
“We know that a lot people are living in poverty,” says Karen Davenport, executive director of the National Rural Health Association.
“And we know that when people don’t get the services they need, there’s more risk that they end up with more serious conditions.”
A lot of people who need medical care are also on Medicaid, which covers most low-income Americans and Medicaid enrollees.
“Some states are looking at what they call the Medicaid expansion,” says Davenpier.
“So people who are on Medicaid who are not able to get care, if they’re living in rural communities, they can apply to Medicaid for coverage.”
What you need can also vary by state.
“Medicaid covers people who can’t afford care for themselves, so you have the option of Medicaid or Medicaid plus other benefits, but Medicaid is more flexible than other health insurance programs,” says Lina Sall, vice president of government relations for the National Alliance of State Health Officers.
“Even if you do have a preexisting condition, you have other options to get health care that you don-t qualify for.”
Even if you get Medicaid, there are other ways to get coverage.
You could enroll in a plan through your state health insurance exchange, which offers plans in a wide variety of plans.
Or, you could take advantage of a state-based health savings account, which allows you to pay for health care expenses