Free health services in every community
XiXinXing/ShutterstockIf you can't afford a health plan and don't qualify for coverage (either through Medicaid or otherwise), you can still get low-cost health care at a nearby community health center. Try the government's Health Resources and Services Administration's site. How much you'll be asked to pay will depend on your income. Health services provided by community health centers include prenatal care, child vaccinations, general primary care, and referrals for specialized care.
Free blood pressure screenings
Andrey_Popov/ShutterstockBased on American Heart Association estimates, nearly half of our country suffers from high blood pressure. Luckily, you can get blood pressure screenings free of charge at many pharmacies around the country—and we're not talking about those free-standing machines where you do it yourself and hope for the best. You'll be screened by an actual person who's qualified to read your blood pressure and explain the results. And here are 31 things you can do right now to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels.
Free skin cancer screenings
Africa Studio/ShutterstockAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76,665 people were diagnosed with some form of melanoma in 2014. Because early detection saves lives, the American Academy of Dermatology offers free skin cancer screenings at locations around the country as part of its "SPOTme" program (here's how to find a location near you). In addition, please be sure to examine your own skin on a regular basis. Here are the warning signs you need to watch out for. If you see anything, you can make an appointment at one of the participating SPOTme centers.
Free dental care
RomanSo/ShutterstockIf cost is keeping you from cleanings and care, check out the free and low-cost dental care programs in every state. The programs include checkups, cleanings, fluoride treatments, caps, dentures, braces, fillings, dental implants, and extractions. You can learn more from FreeDentalCare.com. And to take better care of your teeth, please note these 30 everyday mistakes that dentists want you to avoid making.
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Tyler Olson/ShutterstockWhile there's some controversy about the effectiveness of mammograms, they can help to reduce breast cancer-related deaths in women ages 40 to 74, and especially over age 50 according to the National Cancer Institute. The National Breast Cancer Foundation partners with medical facilities across the country to provide free mammograms and follow-up treatment for those in need.
Free pap tests
Iryna Inshyna/ShutterstockCervical cancer can be deadly, but only half as many people are dying from it nowadays. This reduction coincides with widespread cervical cancer screening, which can identify pre-cancerous cells before they have a chance to become cancer. The CDC's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women across the United States. And if you have any of these symptoms of cervical cancer, don't wait to be screened.
Free HIV testing
adriaticfoto/ShutterstockAs with many conditions, early detection can be critical to successful HIV treatment. The American Healthcare Foundation offers free, walk-in HIV testing at all of these clinics. You can also find free HIV testing through Greater Than AIDS.
Free mental health services
Monkey Business Images/ShutterstockIf you're worried about your mental wellness, you can start by taking this diagnostic test. You can then use the results to have an informed discussion with your mental health provider. If you think you can't afford a mental health provider, you can dial 211 in most municipal areas to find out about counseling and other mental health resources available in your community. Here are some other free and affordable mental health resources.
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Free advice on medication
Atstock Productions/ShutterstockYour pharmacist can provide insight about whatever prescription drugs you may be taking, including potential interactions with other prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications as well. Here are the other reasons you should seek health advice from your pharmacist (who might know more about your prescriptions than your doctor!).
Free nutritional counseling
create jobs 51/ShutterstockMedicare and most insurance plans have waived all patient responsibility—no copay/no deductibles for nutrition counseling, reports Today's Dietician. Are you making use of these free services? Medicare estimates that less than one percent of all Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible are taking advantage of this benefit.
Here are 50 of the best healthy eating tips of all time.
Free prescription drugs
Alexander Weickart/ShutterstockPrescription drugs can cost a small fortune, but some stores, including Publix, according to the Harvard Health Letter, offer free generic versions of certain prescription drugs, including antibiotics, allergy medication, high blood pressure medication, and diabetes medication. Be sure to ask your pharmacist if a drug you're taking might be available in a free, generic form.