4 Strategies To Handle Unexpected Medical Expenses
Since a medical emergency can happen at any time, you should always have a financial safety net in place to assist with purchasing services and products at the time of treatment or to deal with future bills. It’s not uncommon though for many people to have little-to-no extra money in savings. If you or a loved one ever face this problem, the following strategies can reduce your bills, cover them entirely or buy you time to pay them:
Negotiate A Lower Bill
Before you pay anything, ask the healthcare provider for an itemized bill instead of “bundled” details. For example, instead of accepting a bill for emergency burn treatment that only says “burn treatment,” ask for one that shows every line-by-line service and product cost within that single amount. Once you have an itemized bill, contact local hospitals and doctors or use the internet to find out standard costs. If a comparison shows that your bill is too high, use the information to negotiate a lower amount with the provider. If you haven’t yet received medical treatment, shop around beforehand so that you receive the best possible prices. Additionally, ask your provider if they offer a discount to patients who pay their bills in cash within the first 30 days or low- or no-interest financing options.
Check Out Charity Options
If your income is below federal poverty guidelines, ask if the provider has a “charity” plan that allows you to receive services and products at discounted prices or for free. If you need special tests performed or drugs from a specific medical company, ask your doctor to contact the company about income-based programs. Another option: Set up an online healthcare crowdfunding account where friends, family members and even strangers can donate. If you live in a tight-knit community and you have a severe illness, check if you can set up cash donation cans in local stores. Also, check out national non-profits that offer grants and low- or no-interest loans for patients with certain medical conditions.
Make Extra Money
The majority of providers outside of retail service and product companies and shops don’t usually require that you make an immediate payment. As a result, you might find that you have more than enough time to make the money that you need to pay off your expenses using a variety of methods. For example, ask if you can take on extra hours, pick up a second part-time job or apply for temporary work. You might also consider self-employment work on the side. In addition, many patients sell hobby crafts and personal property they no longer use via eBay, Etsy and classified ads or post their items in local yard sale groups on Facebook.
Apply For A Loan
When all else fails, especially if you need to pay at least half or all of the amount upfront, check out various types of loan options. For example, apply for a personal credit card or bank loan. Since approval of an application for either loan type can sometimes take days, consider short-term loans like the payday loans in Dallas, TX. Although you typically must pay a fee and interest, the amount of your next paycheck is used as collateral. You can usually apply with poor credit as long as you meet certain terms. If approved, you also typically receive the funds within 24 hours.
Stress and anxiety caused by unexpected medical expenses can actually make your health worse. As you can see, there is no reason that you should ever let these expenses overwhelm you. Instead, approach the challenges you face with one of these top strategies.