By Betsy Lucas, DocReady Patient Engagement Director
In mid-March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. According to a recent release published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of unemployed Americans increased by 12 million since February, adding these newly unemployed Americans to the existing 27 million uninsured Americans and lower-income populations who may not have access to affordable healthcare.
In this post, we’re sharing what things look like for uninsured Americans during a pandemic, and what DocReady is doing to help these Americans gain access to affordable and safe healthcare while fighting the spread of COVID-19.
DocReady Is Bringing Affordable Healthcare to the Uninsured and Lower-Income Populations
For many Americans, healthcare is simply something they cannot afford. During a pandemic, uninsured Americans and lower-income populations may be less likely to seek medical care and they may be more likely to go to work when sick out of necessity. This poses greater risk to these individuals and increases the likelihood of spreading the virus. While the current standard is to stay home when sick or caring for a sick family member, this is a luxury that not all Americans can afford.
If you are uninsured, cannot afford traditional means of obtaining healthcare, or want to limit contact with potential carriers of the COVID virus, telemedicine is a safe, affordable, and convenient alternative. Telemedicine (sometimes referred to as telehealth, virtual care, or online doctors) refers to the 2-way communication between patient and physician using streaming video or telephone for certain healthcare services.
If you aren’t feeling well, book an appointment to be seen by a DocReady board-certified physician. Your physician will be able to assess your condition and create a treatment plan, including writing a prescription when appropriate.
The use of telemedicine will help mitigate the spread of COVID and other illnesses. The CDC suggests that Americans follow additional precautions to avoid the spread of COVID whenever possible.
- Avoid places and activities that won’t allow 6 ft. of distancing.
- Wash hands thoroughly and frequently.
- Cover nose and mouth with cloth face covering.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Monitor daily health or you and your family members.
If you are experiencing COVID related symptoms and are uninsured, here are some steps you can take:
- Contact your state or local health department for listings of free testing sites.
- As soon as you start feeling sick, reach out to your employer regarding your sick leave policy, and to discuss options to work remotely.
- Limit your contact with others.