The cost of medical treatment nowadays can be incredibly
overwhelming. Having a huge financial burden can increase stress levels and
cause some people to make the wrong decisions when it comes to footing the
bill. If you are worried about how you are going to pay, here are some of your
options when it comes to how to cope with mounting medical expenses.
Don’t Ignore the Bills
It can be all too easy to bury your head in the sand;
however, this will not make the bills disappear. In many instances, it can make
the situation much worse. Doctors and medical providers will only collect
outstanding fees for a couple of months before they send your paperwork over to
a debt collector. If this happens, your medical bill will be included on your
credit report, which can have a damaging impact should you want to borrow money
in the future. There is also a chance that you could be sued for the debt, so
it’s important to be honest and open about your situation. If you have a
surprise medical bill, it’s best to act as quickly as possible.
Read Through Your Mail
When the mail is delivered, you should take the time to read
through any letters to make sure you know what your balance actually is. In
some situations, the health insurance company provides an explanation of
benefits which outlines what has been paid on your behalf. The explanation of
benefits can be incredibly useful and notify you of any medical bills that are
coming your way.
Check If You’re Covered
Medical billing can be incredibly complicated, and mistakes
often occur. Therefore, ensure your doctor’s office has billed the correct
insurance company for the services that were provided. That way, you can find
out why the bill was not paid. Checking if you’re covered by insurance can make
a huge difference in clearing up mistakes as well as saving you tons of money.
What you may not realize is that medical service providers
have various pricing structures in place. For example, if you have been charged
$1,000 for a couple of bandages, you will be able to make a complaint about it.
If you feel that you are being treated unfairly, make sure to call the provider
up and address your concerns. Being able to negotiate can bring the cost down
and help ensure that you’re paying for the treatment you received. If you don’t
feel comfortable with negotiating, there are various companies that can do all
the hard work for you.
Pay the Bill Off
If you have small medical bills, you may be able to pay them
off in a lump-sum, however, you can only do this if you have the money
available in an emergency fund or a savings account. Simply write out a check
and send it to the billing address that is listed on your letter. Ensure you
write the correct account number on the check to avoid being billed more than
once. If you can’t pay the full balance, make sure to contact the doctor’s
office before your debt is sent over to a collection agency.
Making a payment arrangement can take the weight off your
shoulders and help you gain control of your mounting medical expenses. Once you
contact your doctor’s office, this can let the billing department know that you
are not ignoring the bill. If you are responsible for making the payment, you
can set up a payment plan that suits your budget, enabling you to pay off any
outstanding fees without worrying about how you are going to afford them. As
long as you have the money in your bank account each month to pay the bill,
there should be no problems.
Take Out a Loan
Instead of using a credit card, you may want to take out a
loan. For example, Bonsai Finance
provides pension loans which can give you financial flexibility and help cover
the cost of mounting medical bills. Pension loans are received in the form of a
lump sum payment which can be used for unexpected expenses and help you to
clear your debt. Be sure to visit their website today where you can find out
more information about how these could affect your pension in later life.
Child Medical Bills
If your child has had medical treatment, you should not
ignore the bills from your child’s doctor. When you were signing the forms, you
will have made an agreement that you are solely responsible for paying the bill
for your child’s medical care. If you ignore mounting bills, it can damage your
credit just like it would if the medical bill was for yourself.
Medicaid is a health insurance company that specializes in
providing help and support for residents with a low-income. If you are unable
to afford your medical expenses, be sure to contact your local state Medicaid
office today to check whether you’re eligible. The qualification criteria can vary
state by state so while you may qualify in one state, you might not in another.
If you are successful, you can use Medicaid to foot the bill for medical
expenses that you have already incurred. However, there is a time frame that
you need to adhere to so it’s best to apply sooner rather than later.
Use a Credit Card
While it’s not the best route to go down, you may not have a
choice but to use a credit card to pay your medical expenses. If you have tried
every option possible with no success, using a credit card can help you avoid
having to deal with a collection agency. When finding a credit card, you should
have a look at their interest rates and available credit among other features.
If your medical expenses are increasing and you aren’t sure
where to turn, there are many routes that you can go down to nip the problem in
the bud. Whether it be negotiating to get the cost down or sorting out a
payment plan that suits you, you should do your research before you make any
final decisions. Gaining control of your medical expense deduction can reduce the risk of you having to file for bankruptcy
so you really don’t want to ignore them.