Want Heart Issue Checked Out, But No Insurance

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I'm an 17 year old male and my heart often skips beats and has a very uneven rhythm. This just started within the past few months. The trouble is, I don't have any insurance and my family doesn't have the money to take me to the doctor. How can I get this checked out by a doctor for low cost?
Signed: Want Heart Issue Checked Out, But No Insurance

Dear Want Heart Issue Checked Out, But No Insurance,


You have a couple of options of how to get medical care if you currently have no insurance:

·         If you are still in high school, TeenHealthFX suggests you start by checking in with your school nurse about this problem. Your school nurse should know about any state insurance benefits for children and families which you may be eligible for, as well as local health care clinics that offer services to uninsured patients for free or for a low cost.

·         If you have a local pediatrician you used to see, you can also contact him/her for some recommendations of clinics in your area where you can receive medical care as an uninsured individual.  

·         You can contact your local hospital or adolescent medicine health clinic to get information on where you can be seen for medical care without having insurance, as well as what the options are in your state for you to get some kind of medical insurance.

·         You can discuss with your parents (perhaps with the help of your school nurse) the possibility of applying for your state’s Medicaid. For more information you can go to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services webpage Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If your family earns too much money for you to qualify for Medicaid, you can also look into The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to see if you qualify for that.

FX thinks that it is important that you not try to tackle this alone – so please speak to your parents, as well as your school nurse or former primary care physician, for some guidance, information, and help with this.  


As for what you are experiencing with your heart, you may be dealing with heart palpitations. This is where there is a sensation that the heart has started to race or pound or like the heart has skipped a beat. Sometimes there can be an underlying medical condition contributing to heart palpitations, so it is definitely a good idea to be checked out by a doctor. But most palpitations are not any cause for concern, and many are actually caused by anxiety, depression, or stress. Given your family’s current financial and insurance situation, you may be feeling a great deal of stress and pressure that has ended up affecting your body in terms of the palpitations you are experiencing. However, since FX cannot give any kind of accurate or exact diagnosis over the web, we do recommend you take steps (as outlined above) so that you can be examined by a doctor to get a definitive diagnosis and any necessary medical care.

For more information on heart palpitations, go to:

·         The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: Skipping a beat – the surprise of palpitations

·         Medline Plus: Heart palpitations

Signed: TeenHealthFX