Free Health Care! Really!

Want free health care?

No, this is not a joke. Truly free for uninsured and those who have lost their job.

Walgreens said patients who lose their job and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at its in-store Take Care clinics for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments. Typically those treatments cost $59 or more for patients with no insurance.

The charitable side of me says this is a great thing.

The cynic says, wonder how many folks will try to game the system and spoil it for everyone?

Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of the Take Care Health Systems division, described the plan as something close to an experiment: He said Walgreens isn’t sure of patient demand or how much providing the services might cost the company.

No doubt there is a cost that is being absorbed by Take Care. There is also the intangible good will from something like this.

You may recall Wal-Mart started the $4 generic thing and others have followed suit. This has been a win-win all around for consumer and the pharmacy’s offering discount generics.

Patients must present proof they are unemployed, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub. They will have to sign a form at the clinic saying they have lost their jobs and health benefits. If they find a new job or get new health insurance, they will no longer be eligible for free care.

Spouses and children are also eligible for free services if they don’t have insurance of their own.

Medical lab operator Quest Diagnostics is participating in the program by offering free tests for step throat and urinary tract infections.

I think this is a good thing. I hope to see more companies take such a generous step.

Those who are uninsured in Georgia and looking for health insurance will be wise to check out our Resource page. Plans such as Georgia Core Health are low cost options for those who cannot qualify for traditional major medical. Georgia Core Health is a guaranteed acceptance plan . . . anyone qualifies.

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