Finding health help without the headache

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Any kind of illness, minor or serious, can leave us digging deep in our pockets, especially when we don't have some kind of health insurance.

The insurance exchange, part of the Affordable Health Care Act, will go into place next year. People whose employers don't provide coverage will be able to buy it at an affordable price through the health insurance market.

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program can help provide coverage until then, but there are other tools people can use to save cash.

Knoxville Area Project Access can help with specialty treatments. Anything from mental health to dental work. There's a pretty strict list of guidelines to qualify including living in Knox County, not using any other insurance or government sponsored healthcare program, and the household income must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For most families, that would be about 10,000 dollars.

Over the phone doctors can provide simple diagnostic treatments at home. Businesses like Apogee Doctor on call cost around 50 dollars provide a real doctor and a prescription if necessary.

Other sites like let you ask a doctor or nurse a question for a similar price, and many smart phone apps do the same for free.

Generics provide a low cost option for medication. Walmart offers hundreds of pills for only four dollars a month, both prescription and over the counter.

Publix has a special free antibiotic program for some of the most commonly prescribed. The store also offers free and discounted diabetes supplies.

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