I left my abdominal contents in San Francisco
September 18, 2008 10:42 AM   Subscribe

So, I think I've given myself some kind of abdominal hernia. I'm in San Francisco, and I have no health insurance.

So, I have a few questions. Where do I go to get this diagnosed? I'm not in excruciating pain, my side just hurts a little when I squirm around, so I'm fine waiting at a clinic for hours as opposed to the ER at SFGH or something. I don't think it's urgent.

As I didn't realize Healthy San Francisco was a program you actually applied for, I'm not yet a member, though I think I qualify. Would Medi-Cal possibly have some role in this? If this is a hernia, and/or it requires some sort of operation, how do I obtain help without getting saddled by an enormous bill? I can handle paying a little bit for a clinic visit, but a hospital stay is probably far beyond my means.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated--I'm sort of new to California and don't have any sense of the medical system out here.
posted by hototogisu to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
You can get Healthy San Francisco after treatment.

I went in to sf general without any insurance, got treated (the place is surprisingly really nice and everyone there was super helpful), then went and applied for Healthy San Francisco and everything was covered. The basic requirements for HSF is that you don't have another legitimate source for health insurance and that you live in the city (you'll need a lease or something similar). They look at your income and decide how much you can pay, but it's very reasonable.

Go into to urgent care right away would be be my recommendation, but IANAD of course so that's just like, my opinion.
posted by christy at 11:21 AM on September 18, 2008

Get treated now, worry about payment later. This is normal.
posted by dhartung at 11:59 AM on September 18, 2008

You can go to any of the clinics listed here in the Healthy SF network. Of the ones on that list, I would recommend the SF General Hospital General Medicine Clinic, the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, Mission Neighborhood, or the Castro Mission Clinic. If another one is close to where you live, that may also be a good choice.

The eligibility folks at whichever clinic you chose will help you figure out if you are eligible for Medi-Cal, and get you signed up for it if you are.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:13 PM on September 18, 2008

Get treated now, worry about payment later. This is normal.

Great advice if you want to be broke for years. Hernia surgeries aren't cheap, they cost thousands of dollars.

Medi-Cal takes months to apply for and get rejected from and appeal and receive, so it is probably not your best option.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:10 AM on September 19, 2008

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