Uninsured Knoxville woman searches for health care options

Uninsured Knoxville woman searches for health care options

Posted:
Tammy Rauhuff says she's gone to several doctors, but doesn't think she's getting the care she needs because she's not insured. Tammy Rauhuff says she's gone to several doctors, but doesn't think she's getting the care she needs because she's not insured.
"I work every day. I'm not asking for nothing for free, but I've even offered to pay them cash and they still won't do it. So at the end of the day, I still don't know," explained Rauhuff. "I work every day. I'm not asking for nothing for free, but I've even offered to pay them cash and they still won't do it. So at the end of the day, I still don't know," explained Rauhuff.
The InterFaith Health Clinic specializes in working with uninsured patients like Rauhuff. The InterFaith Health Clinic specializes in working with uninsured patients like Rauhuff.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville woman says she's not getting the health care she needs, and she believes it's because she doesn't have insurance.

Tammy Rauhuff has had abdominal pain for the past two years.

She says she's gone to several doctors, but doesn't think she's getting the care she needs because she's not insured.

"A hospital is equipped to do all these things. I just don't understand why nobody can just simply say, 'Let's do a colonoscopy to see.' Because they've already told me, 'It might be cancer, it might be this, it might be that.' Well, you're telling me it might be, but you're not willing to do any tests," said uninsured patient Tammy Rauhuff.

Rauhuff had an ultrasound and made several trips to the ER, racking up thousands of dollars in bills while she searches for a diagnosis.

"I work every day. I'm not asking for nothing for free, but I've even offered to pay them cash and they still won't do it. So at the end of the day, I still don't know," explained Rauhuff.

The InterFaith Health Clinic specializes in working with uninsured patients like Rauhuff.

They have seen a steady increase over recent months in the number of patients they see.

"Most of our increase is due to people losing their benefits, because we are for the working uninsured," said InterFaith Health Clinic Executive Director Melissa Knight.

Knight says it's important to be your own advocate and explain your needs to the person on the phone.

"We will try within our power to find the right spot, so be your own best advocate," Knight added.

Rauhuff says her employer's insurance is too expensive and she is looking at other options. She called a clinic, but says she was unable to get an appointment.

"Nobody should have to go with hurting or anything just because they don't have insurance."

If you're looking for a place to go for health care in the Knoxville area, and you're uninsured, several clinics can offer relief from the high cost of medical attention.

  • InterFaith Health Clinic has case workers that can help you identify your health care needs. They also offer family practice medicine and dentistry. The number is (865) 546-7330.
  • Knoxville Area Project Access also offers case management and primary care. Their number is (865) 531-2766.
  • The Knox County Health Department also offers clinic services. The phone number there is (865) 215-5000.
  • Cherokee Health Systems offer medical and mental health services for patients with or without insurance and charges on a sliding scale, based on your income. Their number is (865) 544-0406.
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