How to Find Affordable Health Care in SF
Everyone gets a little sick sometimes and that’s been known to happen at the worse of time, when you’re in between paychecks or, adding insult to injury, just after you plunked down a wad of dough to get new tires. FunCheap is here to help you out with a few suggestions to save money on healthcare. Even without insurance, there are public and private practices out there for the thrifty in case you need to get that lingering cough, those sore eyes or open sore checked out.
CHEAP HEALTH COVERAGE [ You can get health coverage through the City’s Healthy SF, even if you make some dough ] Still waiting for ObamaCare to kick in? Welcome to the city that takes care of its own: if you’re poor or sorta poor, you can a regular doctor and ER visits thanks to the program Healthy SF. >> You are eligible for Healthy SF if you live in the city of San Francisco and have an income under $54,000/year (based on a sliding scale to be within 5 times the federal poverty line) Here’s a chart to figure it out; a single dude making between $900-$1800 a month pays $20 a month for health coverage in this city. The more you make, the more you pay but it’s way less than private insurance. Co-pays are about $10 and prescription are around $5. The catch? It’s not technically insurance and it doesn’t travel so you can only access San Francisco providers. – HOW TO APPLY: Visit one of the city’s clinics. Click here for addresses and documents you’ll need.
CHEAP STD TESTING [ You can’t afford to not get tested and you can easily afford cheap STD testing from this city clinic ] In San Francisco, the City of Love (that’s what we’re known as, right?) it’s best to get your loins checked every once in a while. At the City Clinic the waiting room is filled with totally normal people, not (just) sex workers and sex addicts so don’t be afraid to go. And, at about $10 for a visit, it’s the cheapest testing you’ve had since collegiate clinics. With budget cuts these services are usually the first to go and they’ve cut back on hours (even in cases where people think their asymptomatic, which gets tricky: “We’d love to treat you but can’t spring for a blood test till we see a sore.”) so call ahead to see when they’re least busy and most likely to see you. Now there are some free testing options in the city. Every week, the Stop AIDS Project parks a lab on wheels in front of 440 Castro Street to give anyone free, anonymous HIV tests. But the City Clinic is comprehensive, checking people for things like Chlamydia, HPV and Herpes and even offering free condoms and emergency contraceptives, so it’s worth the money. – GET YOUR CHECK-UP: SF City Clinic at 356 7th Street in the SoMa.
CHEAP CITY CLINICS [ Did you know there are nearly 30 free medical clinics in SF that serve the poor, the cheap and the uninsured? ] With 186,000 uninsured San Francisco residents and tens of thousands more who are underinsured, there is an overwhelming need for free, quality health care. If you’re one of these, you might try one of the following center and clinics but call ahead because these fine folks get busy nurturing the city’s sick:
- Centrally Located Clinics: There’s the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic that specializes in mental health. The Huckleberry’s Cole Street Clinic is where you can tell those poor homeless kids to get that cough checked out; ages 12-24.
- For Women Only: Downtown, there’s the Golden Gate Community Health (originally a Planned Parenthood office). The Women’s Community Clinic takes walk-in all day Tuesday and mornings Friday. In the Mission, there’s A Woman’s Place.
- Comprehensive Care: Some places cover more kinds of care but end up being real busy too so you have to get patient… to be a patient. The South of Market Health Center even does some dental work. The Tom Waddell Health Clinic is run by the city’s Dept of Public Health. The Bayview’s Southeast Health Center does acupuncture, geriatric & pediatric counseling and can even help you quite smoking.
– FOR A COMPLETE LIST: See the newest SF Free Medical Chart.
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Tags: alternative, cheap, doctor, medicine