by Ivon Guzman
Insurance plays an essential role in having access to good healthcare. However, low-income families are often placed at a disadvantage. The US Census Bureau reported that in 2018, 27.5 million people did not have insurance. People tend to delay treating their health because they want to avoid incurring expenses. The article “How are Income and Wealth Linked to Health and Longevity” states, “At age 25, Americans in the highest income group can expect to live more than six years longer than their poor counterparts.” Many low-income individuals are unaware of available programs and resources within their community that can help.
Children and pregnant women from low-income families are more likely to be eligible for health assistance programs, such as the medicaid card. Some assume that being undocumented places them at a disadvantage. However, the Illinois Department of Family and Health Services lists on their site a service called All Kids, a statewide program that provides free or affordable healthcare coverage to low-income, uninsured children ages 18 and younger regardless of immigration status. Deisy Garcia, a DACA recipient, is happy that this program exists because throughout her youth, she was able to receive her annual check ups. Youth in Illinois can benefit from this resource to obtain health services, including pharmacy services.
Once reaching adulthood, it can be harder but not impossible to find resources. Organizations, such as Alivio Medical Center, aid communities in the Southwest Chicago area. Alivio has different free resources and programs for people to use. Some services may require a fee, but they are adjusted based on a family’s income and do not have to be paid immediately. After speaking to Diana Morales, an aspiring doctor, she noted that at her internships, many low-income patients often wait to see a doctor until their health worsens because they do not want to carry a financial burden. Additionally, language can be a barrier for those seeking resources. Fortunately, Alivio offers a bilingual staff. This gives people an opportunity to treat their health without having either a financial or language barrier.
Good healthcare can seem impossible to obtain. However, you can research organizations near you to find available resources for you to use. Your health is important!