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2.6. Are You Uninsured?

Resources for the Uninsured SCI/D Person

The lack of health insurance has become a serious concern within the U.S. An analysis of the 2000 census reports revealed that 81% or 13 million Americans have incomes too high to qualify for State Medicaid. Studies reveal that the uninsured person accesses health care less frequently, has more untreated medical problems, are less likely to receive preventive care and more likely to be hospitalized for preventable medical conditions. 1

Avoid secondary complications – Seek medical care

Access to appropriate health care is very important for the person with SCI. The aboveidentified problems can be direct contributors to intensifying the risk for secondary complications that are consistent with SCI. It will be particularly important that you become an advocate for yourself in a persistent effort to obtain the medical care that is vital to preserving the integrity of your paralyzed body and achieving a good quality of health.

There are charitable and patient assistance programs for which you may be eligible. Several of the prescription assistance programs include pharmaceutical companies that produce some of the medications commonly used for SCI persons. Each pharmaceutical company has its own application form that must be obtained, filled out and submitted by your physician. To be considered for all assistance programs, you should be prepared to:

  • Show proof of no insurance coverage
  • Show proof of no prescription coverage
  • Provide detailed financial information
  • Demonstrate being under the care of a licensed physician

The following resources may provide assistance:

  • Community Free Clinics: HRSA - Find a Health Center - Search Page (Toll-free (877) 464-4772, Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays), 9 am to 5:30 pm ET.) for list of network of clinics or call your local Department of Health and Social Services to locate a free clinic in your community

  • Charity Doctors: Call local Department of Health and Social Services or County Medical Society for a list of names

  • Community Health Centers: County or city health departments: State or local listing in telephone directory; may offer subsidized or free programs for residents of a particular geographic area

  • Easter Seals : Ph: 1-800-221-6827 to locate your state office

  • Prescription Assistance Programs:
  • Catholic Charities:
    local listing in telephone directory

  • Shriners Hospitals for Children:
    Ph: 1-800-237-5055 * Contact any Shrine Club

  • University Medical Centers:
    State or local listing in telephone directory; inquire about research protocols, 'sliding fee' programs

  • Rural Assistance Center:
    E-mail: Ph: 1-800-270-1898 – has database of information, including funding resources and other needs for special populations

  • Vocational Rehabilitation:
    Phone Numbers for State Vocational Rehab Services listed at or go to State Government listing (Blue pages) in telephone directory – If your long range goals include returning to gainful employment, this can be an entry-way to resources for health care

1 Fact Sheet re: Uninsured. Families. USA, May 2001
1 Millions of Low Income Left Uninsured. Health Care Safety Net, July 19, 2001

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