The Impact of COVID-19 on the Healthcare of the Lower Income
COVID-19's onset has resulted in massive changes across the board concerning how we run everything from businesses to our own homes. It is much harder to get an appointment for many treatments and surgeries that are deemed non-essential. The difficulty many have with accessing medical professionals can cause people to put off preventative care and smaller concerns, allowing health issues to grow.
These difficulties are especially present within impoverished and lower-income communities, as the services often become swamped with COVID-19 diagnoses and testing appointments much more quickly than facilities with more financial inflow available. These facilities do not typically have access to the funding necessary to handle large patient volumes, meaning they could potentially fall behind. If they do, many patients will lose access to healthcare during the pandemic, especially if they have been laid-off.
The Risks of Decreased Healthcare
Losing access to healthcare is terrifying. Many Americans face not having access to the medical care they need regularly, but now, this is more present than ever, especially within the lower-income communities. When someone does not have access to adequate healthcare on an affordable basis, they often begin to neglect their health out of necessity.
Many low-income Americans outright cannot afford routine dental and doctor's visits, and due to the onset of COVID-19, more and more Medicaid and Medicare accepting dentists cannot keep up with the demand they are experiencing. These people who cannot afford traditional insurance and have limited access regularly now cannot get any healthcare at all without waiting months and hoping something opens up.
How to Help
Whether you work as a freelancer in the gig economy or as a brick and mortar operating dentist, there are some options for you to help get these people the care they need. For starters, accepting Medicaid and getting approved to do so is a great way to assist those who can't get timely appointments to get the help they need. Many Americans rely on this form of insurance for all of their medical needs, so accepting it means they can come to you.
Additionally, offering payment plans or deferred payment through planning multiple appointments for complex procedures if the patient's health and needs allow for it can help too. Even those without insurance can benefit from this, as it helps them to pay outright for their necessary procedures.
Doing Your Part
Beating COVID-19 as a unified front is the only way to do it. We all have to do our part to ensure we can come out better once the pandemic has passed. Ensuring all have access to medical care is part of this fight; doing your best to help out here can mean dramatically shortening the presence of this virus and getting back to normal sooner!
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