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Avoid Pain Now, Avoid Jail Later

Posted on 8th Jul 2011 @ 2:11 PM

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Today we have perhaps the saddest news story of the year in the ergonomic space: A man who claimed he robbed a bank ... so that he could get treatment for his carpal tunnel syndrome.

It wasn't the cash James Richard Verone was after. In fact, the 59-year-old Coca-Cola delivery man only took $1 from the RBC Bank in Shelby, NC. What Verone wanted was jail time and the free health care that goes with it. Now incarcerated in the Gaston County Jail, he has had the first in a series of medical appointments, and might even have surgery on his back and feet. He expects to serve a few years, and then retire to the beach on Social Security.

But perhaps you are more of a law and order type, and want to avoid going into the slammer in order to sort out your wrist issues. Here are a few options that can help, when your financial outlook looks grim.

 

1. Medicaid

Not everyone is eligible, and your odds are better if you're over 65 (or blind, or pregnant, or terminally ill). Still, the eligibility requirements do list "disability" as a factor.

 

2. Welfare

Our intrepid bank robber was very specific about not wanting to be a burden to anyone, but since inmates wind up living on public resources anyway, why not go on welfare and skip the orange jumpsuit?

3. Your Parents' Plan

This won't help Mr. Verone, but for those of you who are under 26 and without health insurance, you can probably get coverage under your parents' health insurance. You don't have to be a student or even a legal dependent to do so.

4. Free Clinics

Federally funded health centers provide free or reduced-cost care in most cities and rural areas. Follow the link to their homepage and you can find a center close to where you're living.

5. Move

We would not go so far as to suggest that it would be in your best interest to marry a Canadian, but ... you know what, maybe it would be. Think of it: Free health care for life, and when you're back on your feet and working again, you could finally learn to ski.


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