No Insurance & No idea how to get treatment

I am still pretty new to this site, but it has already been helpful. Just reading these posts makes me feel less alone. The problem I am facing is that I have no insurance, I was diagnosed shortly before I was laid off. That was nearly 2 years ago now. Back then the pain was moderate and localized to mostly the upper back and shoulders. There were only occasional attacks that were severe, Over the last year the pain has both intensified in severity and frequency as well as spreading to pretty much everywhere. I am just not sure what to do. Without insurance, how can I seek the medical attention that I need? I am currently looking for a job. I am not even sure I can handle it. What am I suppose to do on those days that I can barely get out of bed and when the pain is so bad that I can only walk the floors and stretch, hoping the pain will subside? I just feel lost. I have no idea which way to turn.

I am self-employed and did not have insurance; I know what you are going through. This is after I was laid off after always having been employed with insurance. After some lab work and examinations, the doc at the walk in clinic I used when I needed medical attention told me, “you need to spend some money on this.”

I heard a radio commercial during this time that saved me. I now have insurance that covers pre-existing conditions at an affordable rate with good coverage. Go to and you can see the program for you in your state. I live in CA and they have some state participation which makes it a better program than just the federal one. FYI: co-pay for Enbel is $30, I am in process of getting it.

Let me know if this helps.

Most states do offer some kind of drug assistance program. I know the situation well; I tried to buy health insurance and was declined time after time because of my arthritis. My doctor's office was able to inform me about the drug assistance program, and about reduced-cost clinics that can offer help in your situation, too. I hope you are able to find a program in your state that will be able to help you. Health care in this country is a twisted system not designed to help those in financial need IMHO. Best of luck!

Hi Ron,

I'm so sorry you have found yourself in this position. I do work full time and my employer decided to cut back to almost NO insurance last spring. They changed to an HSA plan where we (employees) now pay the full premium and have to save HSA dollars in a pretax savings account to pay for our own medical bills. Our deductible is $5000. So, I honestly never reach the deductible before the year rolls around. And, I can't afford the big payments for drugs, doctor appt. and tests. I had an MRI in December which was $2800 out of pocket. My husband is self employed and a diabetic, so we can't get insurance OR help from any special programs. So, I feel your pain. It does help to be able to vent about it. I had to save up to go to my first Rheumy appt. which is coming up in Feb. I do not know how I will be able to afford the medication to help with my awful pain. I can barely walk right now and I'd look for a new job, but I don't think I have it in me right now. And, at 52, jobs are not easy to find. Plus, I don't know how long I'll be able to work if this gets any worse. I hope and pray you find the care you need. Sorry to burden you all with my story. You are right...we have the best health care in the world, that many of us can't qualify for or afford. I wish we could find an answer. The government is just driving up the cost of care for us who are in the middle. Thanks for are all in my prayers. I hope you find the relief you need!

Hi, I’ve been without insurance or treatment for years. On the bright side there is a 14% remission rate for the non treated, Yay. Humira has a care plan and if you qualify you can receive it for no charge at all for one year intervals. Your biggest obstacle is going to be finding a doctor that will see you, no charge, and sign off on the script and paperwork. What you need to do is go to your local shelter and find out who does their medical. Shelters tend to either have doctors who come in weekly or they have linkage to free clinics. Many of these clinics have doctors that will see you at their own practices. Now you do have to slice off a nice piece of dignity for this. Depending on your severity, your condition can be very rare. Me for example, from what I’ve read, only 2% of PsA’s have severe pustuler out breaks. This made me the perfect guy for my doc to train his staff on, Yay again. You might have to tell your story to new groups of people every time you visit and let them take turns injecting you, but that’s really not so bad. I recommend you seek out a Dermatologist not a Rhumy. Best of luck.

Hi Ron, it is very difficult to say the least, here in quebec if you do not have insurance, you go on the gouv. plan which basically means genetics are mainly cover, but certain medications are not, I am grateful that I have been able to get my meds, but its costs 120 $ every month and we still have to pay 1600$ at income tax time, for the coverage, but I am not on humira or embrel, I have taken mtx, but landed up in hospital, I have a very sensitive stomach, so I always have to be careful. I take meds for PsA, Fibromyagia, Nerve pain, and the sanity of my brain hehehe......wonder why?????

Don't lose faith Ron and research your options, this place is the best to start too, I see that some have given you ideas, best of luck !!!!

Really great feedback, guys. Thank you all for the info and for allowing me to vent and not feel like I am the only person in the world facing this struggle.

Ron, I completly understand what you are going through, I am also without insurance and not working, and with all of the swelling and pain I cant work. However I was able to find a doctor who accepts people without insurance and I had to pay a small deposit on the first visit and a $60 office visit each time I see him and then the rest of the fees and charges from lab work or xrays are billed to me and I am able to make a small monthly payment. also my doctor and his nurse has worked to get my humira covered for me through the assistance program.

My suggestion to you is to start calling all of the rhumeys in your area and start asking what thier policy is for people without insurance, many will say we dont accept them but I was really suprised at how many have polices for people without insurance.

Good Luck!

Thank you, amueller. That is both enlightening and inspirational.