Cost of Living: 4 Ways Patients Stretch to Cover Medical Expenses
Ideally, you would be able to find an affordable and comprehensive health insurance plan that pays for all of your necessary medical expenses except for co-pays. However, in reality, insurance premiums can be expensive, and even with expensive premiums on a rather comprehensive health insurance plan, coverage often only pays for a fraction of the cost of the medical treatment, office visits and medications that you need. Finding a way to pay for your medical expenses can seem challenging at times, but there are a few steps that you can take to stretch your funds and get the treatment or medical services that you need or pay for a loved one’s medical care.
Many people change insurance plans at the start of a new calendar year, and you may also change insurance coverage if you are about to start a new job or move into a full-time position. In some instances, delaying treatment until after you are covered by a new insurance plan can be an effective strategy to pay for your medical services and treatments. In other cases, you may need to delay treatment until you know that you can afford to pay your portion of the expenses with cash, credit or other types of financing. Remember, however, that many providers will set up a payment plan for you for major expenses. You could always talk to your provider about this option if you need immediate treatment and do not have the funds necessary to pay for the full cost of the treatment.
Use a Health Savings Account
Another excellent idea to consider when you need to pay your medical bills is to use a health savings account. This type of account uses pre-tax dollars, and this means that your income tax bill is offset by the amount of your HSA contributions. By offsetting your tax bill, you can save money indirectly. Then, you can use the untaxed money in the account to pay for everything from surgical treatments and co-pays to prescription medications and even over-the-counter medications.
When these ideas are not available to you, another idea is to borrow the money that you need. For example, you could apply for a long-term loan through a local bank, or you could get a short-term payday loan, from a place like Power Finance, if you only need to cover the expenses for a short period of time until you get paid again. Using credit cards to pay for your medical expenses is another way to use borrowed funds to pay for your medical expenses. Remember that some medical offices and practitioners offer a cash discount if you pay the full amount at the time services are rendered, and this includes if you pay for your expenses with a credit card or a loan.
Get a Second Job
In some cases, you may be healthy enough to take on a second job to pay off some or all of your medical bills or to save up for a necessary or optional treatment. You may also take on a second job to pay for medical expenses for someone else in your family who has serious or significant health issues. Remember that you may be able to continue to work in this second job until your bills are completely paid off.
Getting medical treatment, medications and more is imperative to your health and well-being in many cases, but some people have trouble paying for the treatments and services they need. If you or a loved one is challenged by expensive medical bills, keep some of these funding ideas in mind. You may even combine a few of them to more easily pay your expenses.