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What if the Supreme Court Takes my Patient’s Health Care?

Posted by William Jordan, MD, MPH March 4, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Today, the Supreme Court is thinking about cutting health insurance subsidies. They will be taking aim at patients in state marketplaces (exchanges) run by the federal government. At stake is health care for more than 7 million people in 34 states. The final decision is expected in June. As a health care provider, you may be wondering what to tell your patients if they lose health insurance in a few months.

Here are some recommendations health care providers can share with patients:

1) Talk to your congressperson about fixing the law to restore subsidies:

2) Make an appointment while you still have insurance. Get health screenings, shots, and prescription refills (ask for a 90-day “vacation supply”).

3) Check if you qualify for Medicaid (see a navigator or social worker), or can afford insurance:

4) If you can’t get insurance, ask your provider, clinic, or hospital about a sliding scale fee (pay-what-you-can).

5) If there is no sliding scale at your current source of care, consider finding a lower-cost option. Federally qualified (community) health centers or free clinics are a good options:

6) If you can’t get medications, ask your provider or pharmacist about low-cost options. Often cheaper generic options are available that are just as good:

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