Sunday, February 14, 2016

Medical help for the homeless

Many homeless do not receive medical help until it's too late. Many of them are afraid to seek medical help, for fear they'll become victims of untoward medical experiments, or they'll get so far along, and the doctor will deny care because of inability to pay.

Are you homeless? 

Do you live in poverty? 

Do you need medical help?

There are places and ways you can seek help for medical problems.

First, you likely qualify for Washington Apple Health. You should apply for it if you haven't already. If you go to any of the providers I mention below, they can help you apply. If you need a mailing address so they can send you a card, you can use General Delivery at Seattle's downtown Post Office (98101), or the Compass Center at 77 S. Washington (98104).

King County Public Health has several Mobile Medical vans; you can see their schedules on their website.

The City of Seattle is supposed to be funding a mobile medical van soon, but for now they're using King County's.

King County Public Health also operates several clinics; locations are listed on this webpage. Community health centers are listed here.

King County's clinics will not refuse service due to your inability to pay (they have a sign in their office that says that!). They will encourage you to apply for Washington Apple Health.

There are other medical clinics that will treat you for free, but you will have to apply for special consideration.

University of Washington Internal Medicine and Harborview. For each of those, you will need to apply for "Charity Care." You can read their policy on Charity Care here.  They did, at one time, have a zip code restriction on who could receive Charity Care, but that seems to have been lifted. At Harborview, there's an office to go physically apply for it.

Swedish also offers charity care. They gave away $35 million in services last year in direct charity care alone. And, I've heard good reports from those who've used Swedish.

There are other places you can seek help for medical issues, but these are some major ones in the Seattle area.

So find care, and get well.