How to Get Health Care While Uninsured: The Billfold

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: “A couple of years ago, I had a cold for about four months,” Aurora Almendral writes on The Billfold about getting health care while uninsured. “I thought I had somehow caught five colds in a row, which I thought was no big deal, because they were just colds after all. But then I started dropping a lot of weight while eating a lot of chocolate cake. My hair started falling out, and I had the shakes so bad that my handwriting—which I used to be proud of—became illegible. My short-term memory stopped working. It was difficult to have a conversation, because by the time I neared the end of a sentence, I had already forgotten what I was talking about. Things were bad, but I had no health insurance, which I thought meant that the only thing to do was try to ignore it, and hope that whatever was wrong with me would go away on its own. Each new symptom added another few hundred dollars to the imaginary doctor’s bill in my head, which meant that as things got worse, I had more incentive to pretend that I had some sort of temporary bug that would eventually go away.” Aurora Almendral, “How to Get Health Care While Uninsured,” The Billfold.