No insurance? You can still take care of your migraine disease

Let’s talk for a minute about one particularly stubborn barrier to care: lack of insurance.

Many friends and readers I speak with tell me they think they need some medical help for their migraine disease; others know that they do but realize that seeking out a headache specialist can be extremely expensive. So, understandably, they give up right then, throwing their hands up in defeat.

Trust me: I know it’s hard to not have insurance. I have been without insurance for five years now—the program I signed up for after grad school dropped me due to their clerical error but told me I had to apply again. When I applied again, I was rejected because of my preexisting migraine condition. Since then I’ve been without health insurance, but my medical care has been far from lacking.

To afford my medications, I looked at prescription assistance programs—this one has been the most helpful for me. (Even if you have insurance or even a higher income with no insurance, sometimes you are eligible for such programs.) has a page of deals for you—they change as time goes on, so keep an eye out for what you might be eligible for.

I’ve also done something that may surprise you: I make my doctor’s appointments anyway. I pay out of pocket for every healthcare appointment. It costs a lot of money, but at the end of 2010 I realized that I spent less on out-of-pocket healthcare (including an ER visit) than I would have if I’d had my old insurance plan, which, in theory, would’ve covered a lot of my doctors fees.

Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you’re saving money on healthcare. And just because you don’t have insurance doesn’t mean you have to sit, twiddle your thumbs, and cope with this migraine on your own.

Your doctor might offer discounts or payment plans. Your local hospitals—whether they’re privately or publicly owned—probably have some discount programs and payment plans for the uninsured. It takes some work to investigate these options, but it’s worth it because YOU are.

If you want to read more about insurance and migraine, I suggest you use that box in the upper, right-hand corner to search for “insurance.” I was going to link to a bunch of articles, but there are so many (most from my buddy Diana) that you may be better off searching yourself.

How have you navigated the waters of being uninsured? How has insurance (its presence or absence in your life) affected your migraine care?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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