You shouldn’t hesitate to get health care because you fear high medical bills. In fact, waiting to visit the doctor could ultimately cause your bills to rise since many medical issues are more easily treated at early stages. There are several ways to bring your costs down and lower your bills.
Negotiate Your Bills
Negotiating your bills starts at the beginning of your health care. If your physician orders medical tests or procedures, see what might be covered by insurance and whether there are alternatives. Although you don’t want to skip any important diagnostic or treatment steps, there are often less expensive ways. For example, generic medicines are much cheaper than brand names.
After the bill, you can also negotiate with your provider. Ask them to double check that each line item has been medically coded correctly so your insurance will pay. Errors could lead to higher costs. Some providers will offer discounts to patients without insurance. Others will agree to a payment plan.
Use State and Federal Programs
If you’re unable to pay your medical bills, there are state and federal programs available. People with certain medical problems may be eligible for Medicare before they turn 65. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) assists with expenses for children. Most states also have medical assistance available for qualifying residents.
Medicaid is the most well-known of federal programs for people with lower incomes. Its coverage is comprehensive, from children’s needs to chronic conditions to elder care. Medicaid can help cover long-term care if you meet the income requirements.
Use Interest-Free Financing
If you must finance your medical bills, look for a payment plan that doesn’t charge interest. Look for credit cards designed especially for medical expenses. These charge no interest if you pay off the bill within the specified time, such as 12 or 24 months or even longer.
Some conventional credit cards charge an introductory rate of 0% interest for the first year (or other period of time). With either of these kinds of credit cards, make sure you can pay the bill off in the time allotted; otherwise, you may be liable for the full interest payment.
Stressing over medical debt is not healthy. While high medical bills can be worrisome, there are steps you can take to lower your bills and pay them off. Talk with your health care providers and investigate your options.
Check out this article to see where you can get your medical records online!