Medical and Psychological Aid

Overview

Where to get medical and psychological help and dental services


Medical Aid

Free and Low-Cost Clinics

Every state has free and low-cost clinics, as well as clinics offering sliding fee discount programs where the price you pay for health services depends on your household income. Typically, these clinics serve people who do not have health insurance. If your Medicaid or Medi-Cal health insurance covers only emergency services, you may be able to use one of these clinics to get non-emergency medical help.

Explanation of the sliding fee discount program clinics (in Russian)

You can search free and low-cost clinics in your city using websites 

Sometimes, you can buy expensive drugs a lot cheaper if you present a free coupon from GoodRx website in the pharmacy for which the coupon is issued. All you need is to find the drug on GoodRx and show the pharmacist the free coupon on your phone!

Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

What is the difference between an emergency room at the hospital and an urgent care clinic?

Hospital emergency departments are meant for life and limb-threatening health conditions. They are the best option when you have a truly serious medical condition, such that you fear for your life or are in a severe pain and need immediate treatment. 

An Urgent Care clinic is the middle ground between an emergency room and a routine doctor appointment. Urgent Care treats non-life or limb-threatening conditions which you want addressed immediately rather than waiting for a doctor’s appointment . Do not go to a hospital for minor problems; it will cost you a significant amount of money. Rather, go to a lower-costing Urgent Care clinic. 

Examples of conditions treated at different levels of health providers:

Emergency Room

Severe bleeding

Severe pain of unknown or life-threatening origin

Fainting

Dangerous heart symptoms

Urgent Care

Severe pain or discomfort of known and not life-threatening origin

Urgent need for prescription meds

Routine Appointment

Mild pain or discomfort

Chronic conditions

Routine check-ups

Immunizations

In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Providers

If you need urgent medical assistance, you can go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic, and your health insurance will cover the visit. However, if you are making a routine doctor appointment, be mindful of whether the healthcare provider with whom you are booking an appointment is in your health insurance plan’s network.

Every insurer contracts with certain healthcare providers (doctors and clinics) for favorable rates. These providers are called “in-network” providers, and a visit to them will typically result in a lower copay to you than a visit to an “out-of-network” provider with whom the insurer has no contract. You can find a list of in-network providers in your area on the health insurance company’s website. Choose an in-network provider whenever possible.

Be mindful about the difference between “HMO” and “PPO” insurance plans. With a PPO plan, you can go directly to the specialist you need to see (e.g. a cardiologist); whereas an HMO plan requires you to go to a primary care physician first and obtain a referral to the specialist.

Psychological Help

The following resources provide free psychological help for Ukrainians affected by war:

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