If you need surgery and you don’t have insurance, the only sure way to get financial assistance is to contact a third party with a lot of money legally obligated to pay for the expenses.
Looking for grants, free services, clinical trials, makeover contests, medical students, loans for the unemployed, and charities can make only a small dent in your costs or waste your valuable time.
Instead, recognize that federal law ensures that most patients never have to worry about paying for surgery without insurance. You have several ways to make this problem go away: except cosmetic procedures.
how to pay for surgery without insurance
Patients should not have to worry about paying for surgery without insurance, given the many viable options. however, it still happens.
Anyone can get affordable coverage that pays for pre-existing conditions with no waiting period, but timing is important. many patients can get immediate coverage to deal with emergencies, while others may have to wait until January for a new plan to go into effect.
free emergency surgery
Time is of the essence when looking for ways to pay for emergency surgery without insurance because your health is in jeopardy. you can’t afford to wait until next January because you need the operation right away.
Patients have three ways to get nearly free emergency surgery without insurance: Get immediate coverage. however, you must act quickly and adhere to strict standards.
The federal government supports three pathways that could pay for most of the costs of medically necessary emergency surgeries. You can start coverage today if you’re eligible through at least one of these ways.
Do I qualify for free coverage starting today?
- Medicaid covers low-income adults and can pay expenses up to three months retroactively
- chip covers children and pregnant women who earn too much to qualify for (low cost) medicaid
- private health insurance with subsidized premiums that make costs more affordable
You may be able to get financial help for heart surgery without insurance if you qualify for one of three tracks for immediate coverage. you don’t want to delay operations on clogged arteries that could lead to cardiac arrest.
heart surgery falls into the emergency category because of the risks of waiting. Grants to help pay medical bills could come in handy for patients forced to wait until January for coverage.
You may be able to get financial help for skin treatment (mohs surgery) without insurance, as long as you meet one of the three qualifying criteria for immediate coverage. you don’t want to delay removal of moles and cancerous lesions, as malignant cells can spread throughout the body.
skin treatment falls into the emergency category due to the risks of waiting. financial help for cancer patients could be valuable for those who must delay coverage until January.
Charity care is a second way to get emergency surgery without insurance. By law, hospitals and medical centers cannot deny care to anyone in critical need.
Hospital charity care (unpaid services) can help patients who are uninsured, underinsured, or ineligible for other government programs such as Medicaid. Individuals who meet income and asset requirements may receive financial help to cover medically necessary services at inpatient and outpatient acute care facilities.
free elective surgery
The fundamental strategy for paying for elective surgery without health insurance is to wait until new coverage is in place. you schedule elective procedures at a time convenient for the patient and physician. operations are not urgent, so you have the luxury of time.
Your government-subsidized plan must cover any pre-existing condition without a waiting period, as long as the procedure is medically necessary: the services diagnose or treat an illness or injury, disease, illness (or its symptoms) and meet the accepted medical standards.
You can get cataract surgery almost free without insurance if you wait until you have coverage. the ophthalmologist must document objective and subjective measures to establish medical necessity.
- snellen acuity of 20/50 or worse
- member has a lens-induced disease
- the person is blind in one eye
- previous participation in a clinical weight loss program
- body mass index (BMI) greater than 40
- bmi greater than 35 with health problems related to obesity
- high blood pressure
- sleep apnea
- high cholesterol
- bmi below 35
- postural back pain
- upper back and neck pain
- irritation of skin folds (intertrigo or dermatitis)
- ulnar nerve numbness
- Lower cost and less invasive treatments failed to remedy the knee or hip problem: braces, medications (anti-inflammatories and pain control), or physical therapy
- activities of daily living are impossible due to the ongoing joint problem: meal preparation, dressing, driving or walking
- medical tests should verify the diagnosis of advanced osteoarthritis in the knee or hip: the severity of the discomfort measured on a pain scale and diagnostic imaging (bone scan, MRI, CT scan, etc.) showing the severity of the disease
- removal of excess skin
- breast reconstruction
- rhinoplasty & septoplasty
- Third and fourth year medical school students go through six-week rotations from each specialty area and may assist with surgery but never operate themselves.
- Surgical residents complete their training after graduating from medical school and entering a residency program affiliated with a university hospital system.
- children born with cleft lip or palate
- disfigured domestic violence victims
- tattoo removal services
- survivors of accidents and illnesses
- central clock
- clinical trials
- how big will your deposit be?
- How will you pay for what the grant doesn’t cover?
- Are you employed?
- what is your occupation?
You may be able to get financial assistance for breast reduction surgery without insurance if you wait until you have current coverage. Your new plan may accept claims for this elective mammoplasty when medically necessary: based on these criteria.
You can get orthopedic surgery almost free without insurance if you wait until you have coverage in force. standard parameters for elective orthopedic procedures determine if they are medically necessary.
total joint replacement
A near-free total knee or hip replacement (thr & tkr) is possible if you can document these health issues.
lumbar spinal fusion
Nearly free back surgery is feasible if you can document specific health issues related to your spine. for example, you would need to show that you need a lumbar spinal fusion to treat a curve fracture, neural compression, tumor, infection, or scoliosis that exceeds 50 degrees
You can get financial assistance for plastic surgery without insurance by waiting until you have coverage in force. the words you choose can have a profound impact on this field.
plastic surgery reconstructs facial and body defects caused by congenital deformities, accidents or diseases. these elective operations are often medically necessary, which means your new insurance may cover most of the costs.
Below are some plastic surgery procedures where a letter of medical necessity with supporting documentation might suffice.
economic aid for cosmetic surgery
Financial assistance options for cosmetic surgery are more limited because these procedures are never medically necessary. insurance will not pay for operations that reshape healthy tissue to improve appearance or symmetry.
most help alternatives are incomplete, so proceed with caution.
how to get money
No credit check cosmetic surgery financing is the fastest way to get money. if approved, the lender can deposit the funds into your checking account, giving you the flexibility to choose the surgeon with the most experience and the best reputation for results.
Next, you can launch an online fundraiser to raise money to support monthly payments. Or, better yet, rely on your job income to keep up with the obligation.
loans for the unemployed
Cosmetic surgery loans for unemployed patients represent a horrendous form of financial assistance. don’t borrow money for a non-critical procedure when you’re out of work and can’t handle the monthly payments.
Also, few lenders will approve loans when you’re unemployed. they want their money back with interest, something you can’t bear without a job.
free cosmetic surgery by students is another potential dead end. a more realistic expectation is reduced fees for procedures performed by residents under the supervision of experienced faculty.
Begin with this list of plastic surgery residency programs, understanding that discounted care is feasible, if you can identify a school near you that has availability.
Finding charities that pay for cosmetic surgery is unlikely to help with most procedures. Keep in mind that nonprofit organizations often rely on the generosity of donors and the willingness of surgeons to perform pro bono services.
In other words, needs often outweigh resources.
very good health maintains a list of charities that offer limited financial help for people who want reconstructive surgeries. keep in mind that many are medically necessary, which means insurance covers most of the cost anyway.
free clinical trials
Free cosmetic surgery clinical trials are a long shot for your breast implants, tummy tuck, liposuction, and other operations that improve symmetry and appearance.
In this case, you play the role of a guinea pig for an experimental device or technique. however, clinical trials designed to find a cure or better treatment for serious medical conditions are easier to find.
start by searching one of these online clinical trial databases. you could find the needle in a haystack.
Cosmetic surgery grants are rarely a viable form of financial assistance. grants are free money that you don’t have to pay back. therefore, they may attract unsuspecting patients and may not be legitimate.
Offering grants for cosmetic surgery has become a marketing strategy for practices to attract new profitable clients. for example, the application for a notable program asks these questions.
In other words, they will offer a 20% grant as long as you have the financial ability to fund the remaining 80% of your possibly inflated surgery costs. compare prices and reputation before signing up.
win a contest
The chance to win a cosmetic surgery makeover contest is another way clinics attract new patients. in this case, the winner receives some financial aid as part of the prize, in exchange for publicity.
Please read the sweepstakes rules carefully before entering a makeover contest. At a minimum, they’ll ask for your name and contact information to let you know if you win (an unlikely outcome), and send you marketing requests if you lose (the likely outcome).
can’t afford to miss work after surgery
many patients need financial help because they can’t miss work after surgery, even when their insurance pays for the procedure. You can find three paths to financial support with lost income.
Short-term disability is the first place to look if you can’t afford to miss work while recovering from your surgery. These insurance programs replace a portion of income when you are unable to perform your job duties due to a covered medical condition.
Short-term disability covers medically necessary surgery: you need the operation to treat an illness or accidental injury. In addition, you must have a valid policy before submitting to the procedure.
payment of unemployment
Unfortunately, filing for unemployment benefits rarely helps people who need surgery but can’t afford to miss weeks of work. the universal criteria in all states is that you must be physically able to work to qualify for benefits.
however, collecting unemployment after surgical recovery is a little more feasible. at least seven states define an employee’s health problem as a “good cause” reason for termination of employment.
paid time off
The amount of paid time off you’ve accrued with your employer is another resource to consider if you can’t afford to miss work after surgery. The programs provide salary continuation during the time you are unable to perform your job duties.
Paid time off comes in several flavors, so check your balances for each of these potential resources.
You can get weight loss surgery almost free without insurance if you wait until you have new coverage. your new plan must honor claims if it meets these medically necessary parameters.