When you are in your twenties and first entering the tricky foray of paying for your medical costs on your own, there are many things you should know right away. Dealing with insurance, surprise medical bills, and different methods of payment can feel complicated and even overwhelming. Read on to learn a few things you should know if you’re paying for your own medical costs for the first time.
Dealing With Insurance
Dealing with insurance can seem tedious and confusing, at least at first. There are new terms to navigate, such as your “premium” which is the amount you pay each month, and the plan’s “deductible” which is how much you need to pay before your employer’s plan kicks in. Co-payments refer to the amount of money you need to pay for health care services after you’ve paid your deductible amount.
When choosing an insurance plan, it is important to take all these amounts into account. Consider your budget. When you are young and healthy, it is usually okay to choose a less expensive plan, even though they come with a higher deductible. If you want to play it safe, however, pick a more expensive plan.
Surprise Medical Bills
Surprise medical bills can be a shock. If you receive a bill you’re not expecting, first make sure the charge is accurate. Billing mistakes happen. Around 90% of medical providers use paper billing as their primary method; read your bill carefully to make sure there are no mistakes.
You can also negotiate prices and even apply for financial assistance. Some medical providers will give you a discount if you agree to pay the sum within 30 days. You can also ask for a bigger discount and argue you deserve a cost reduction. Many hospitals also offer financial assistance, and you could also apply for a loan.
How are you going to pay your bills? With a credit card? Probably not, if you can help it. Instead of putting a medical bill on your credit card, dip into your savings. You have the option of setting up a health savings account, which is a tax-advantaged savings account that works in tandem with high-deductible health insurance plans.
Make sure you do not ignore your bills. If you have trouble affording your medical costs, contact the billing department of the hospital and make a payment plan. Making monthly payments will be better for your credit rating.
If you are nervous or unsure about how to handle paying for your own medical costs for the first time, no need to worry. If you know these few, essential things beforehand, you will be able to navigate medical bills with far more ease.
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