17 answers

Sick and No Health Insurance! Help!

So a few months ago I was laid off and I put myself and my daughter on my husbands health insurance. I started a new job about 1 1/2 months ago and I took myself of my husbands insurance because I thought mine started right away at the new job (technically I was a re-hire in the same company that laid me off). Well, I ended up with what I think is the flu, last week was really rough with the body aches, vomiting and sore throat. Now I just have a little diarrhea and I'm pretty sure that's almost done. My boss wants me to have a doctors note when I get back to work but I can't afford to go to the doctors without health insurance and just coming back from being laid off for almost 4 months. I'm not really sure how to handle this because I really have no money to deal with this but I don't want to get in trouble at work either. This is my 4th day out of work now and I'm pretty sure my boss is not happy (even though 4 other girls have been out as well with the flu). any suggestions?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Do you have any friends or friends of friends who are doctors who could write you a note? Just a thought :)

Get a friend to write a note posing as a Doctor. You can play this one just the same way he is playing it--what he is doing is not right (maybe not even legal).

More Answers

I'd just be honest with your boss. Share that you do not want to infect everyone else. I'd explain that you do not have health insurance at the moment and you just rode out the virus at home. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, you could ask to see what they would charge to write the note. Most likely, they would insist on a minimal office visit. Explain that you are between insurances and ask what it would be if you paid cash.

Hope you feel better soon.
S.

1 mom found this helpful

I've never heard of such a thing, but if you must get a note from the dr., go to a community clinic where the cost is free, almost free, or hugely reduced based on your income. They should be listed in your phone book, but if you don't see one, call your county health department. They have that kind of info. Good luck.

Hi L.,
Sorry to hear you are sick and in this situation, it seems very insensitive. Maybe you'd be interested in looking at a job where you don't have to answer to anyone about being sick, worry about being laid off, etc. Let me know if you'd like to learn more......
L.

go to the IHC clinic in some smiths stores. I go there all the time. You can print a coupon from their website and it costs around $40. So much cheaper than the dr. office and they are great. Just google IHC express clinic to find one by you and to get a coupon.

Go to the doctor let them know you can't pay and most will set up a payment plan/option for you. You should never put your health befor money. This will also help your work as if you get a diagnosis you can let your boss know what is going on.

I would call the doctor's office and explain your situation. Don't mention the money issue unless you have to. I worked in two different offices, and depending on the relationship with the patient, we would often do a note for patients in your circumstances, especially if something like the flu was going around. Be sure to mention you're doing better now and don't feel you need to see the doctor, you're just wondering if they could do a note off your symptoms. Don't be surprised, though, if the answer is no, but it's a least worth checking. The next option might be to go to an income based clinic if you think you might qualify for a discount. Otherwise, see what kind of a discount you get if you're a cash pay patient. There is often a discount at any office for paying cash. (Sometimes you can get it if you pay with a credit card, sometimes not.) If there is no discount, see if they'll accept, say $10 today and you can pay the rest in installments. Most offices are pretty understanding. I know it's still a stresser! We deal with huge bills due to an ill son. I've gotten pretty good at the "I can't afford my bill" game. They usually come in chunks of several thousand dollars plus around $380 at the pharmacy every month. Honestly, most places are pretty understanding, even if they're the odd $40 bill when I explain our circumstances. GL!

Do you have any friends or friends of friends who are doctors who could write you a note? Just a thought :)

Most towns have a free clinic. Look in the yellow pages for the closest one. You've got to get there realllly early to be seen though, so pack breakfast & lunch & head out (plenty of snacks & toys for the little one). Tell them you need to be seen for the flu & remember to get a doc's note. That's the best I can tell you, unless you can find a doc who will let you work out a payment plan (hopefully you can!)
Good luck & feel better soon!

Check with your HR dept. to see if you can use Cobra to start your insurance again - it is supposed to cover you between jobs and you don't have to start it until you need it. It is expensive, though - might be cheaper just to pay for a doctor at a walk-in clinic.

More importantly, has your company issued a formal policy that says that you have have a doctor's note to return to work after being sick? If no formal policy has been issued and the standard employee handbook doesn't require it, you should not have to provide a doctor's note to return to work.

I know a lot of doctors offices will discount the bill if you pay it at the appointment. Just call ahead of time and see if they do. I've had doctors discount their bills about 40% because it avoids dealing with insurance companies. I know you said you can't really afford it right now (and I completely understand), but paying 60% now rather than 100% when the bill comes might be a better solution for you. Just letting you know.

Go to one of those quick care places. It costs roughly $55.00. They are in Rite Aids some Albertsons and some Walmarts.

Some King Soopers and Walgreens locations have little clinics staffed by nurses and PAs. It might be a lower cost alternative and they can probably help.

Have you called your insurance company to ask them if thew can cover you for this visit? Explain the situation to both them and your doctor and see if you can't work something out.

go to the doctor and make payment arrangements.

Find your local instant-care clinic. We went through the same situation with my DH- he was taken out the week before his insurance kicked in, and would have lost his job (and insurance) without a Dr note. We paid about $40 in upfront costs, with a $25 a month payment for a few months after that (that was for several sets of lab work as well)

Get a friend to write a note posing as a Doctor. You can play this one just the same way he is playing it--what he is doing is not right (maybe not even legal).

You've gotten some pretty good advice, so mine is probably just reiteration. What's your relationship like with your boss? Is is such that maybe you could just let him know the situation and that you can't afford to see a doctor? I understand that they (the company) doesn't want to get others sick, but it shouldn't be mandatory to bring in a doctor's note. If you need to see a doctor, are you close to a county health department's clinic? They are usually pretty cheap. If you need to see your regular doctor, most doctors will give some sort of discount if you pay the bill at the time of the visit (I've had doctors give a 20% discount). If you can't do that, most will let you do a repayment plan with them. Good luck and I hope everything works out for you!

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