The faltering economy is forcing a growing number of Americans to scale back on medical care, skipping doctor visits and putting off tests and surgeries. Three out of 10 Americans say they've skipped a recommended test or treatment because of costs.
If you're cutting back on care, one alternative is federally funded health centers, which provide care to all patients, whether they have insurance or the funds to pay. Patients pay what they can afford, based on income. Through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you can type in your address and find a health center near you.
According to the department, 218 select hospitals and nursing homes in 44 states across the nation provide free or low-cost health care to those who cannot afford to pay. Click here to find out if you are eligible for reduced-cost health care through Hill-Burton facilities. To find an obligated facility near you, check out the list of locations by state.
Also, on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Web site, check out its guide, "Finding Low-Cost Health Care 101," for patients of all needs and ages.
GovBenefits.gov breaks down federal benefit programs, state by state, ranging from health-care options for kids, temporary assistance for families and special health-care needs for the hearing impaired.
To save money, experts recommend switching to generic-brand medications instead of their pricey brand-name counterparts. For information on generic and brand-name equivalents available through patients' assistance programs, click here.