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Is care equal for uninsured patients?

With so many concerns over proper medical insurance coverage, it should not be surprising that many people in Indiana worry that without insurance, they will not get the best medical care. You may worry if you do not have insurance coverage. Are you getting the same level of care as someone who does have insurance?

This is a complex subject. While nobody would admit to not providing good care, there is some evidence that the care provided to you if you do not have insurance will greatly differ from the care you would receive if you had medical insurance. The Washington Post notes many medical providers provide care reluctantly to patients without insurance because they know they will never get paid. Some even look over charts to see what, if any, insurance you have before they treat you, which could cause differences in the way they care for you.

Some doctors may rush through visits with uninsured patients or not offer them the best care in hopes they do not return. In emergency rooms, patients must be treated regardless of insurance status, but this does not mean medical providers are not biased if you walk in without insurance. While not every physician acts this way, it is very common for you to receive a lower level of care if you do not have health insurance than if you did.

In some cases, though, doctors make adjustments to the care you receive to help you. For example, the doctor may prescribe you a generic brand of medication instead of the name brand to try to save you money because they know you are paying out of pocket. They may also be less likely to do needless tests or procedures.

However, you may also face issues with not being able to get a needed surgical procedure or test if you cannot pay for it upfront. Some doctors may even refuse to operate on you. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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