Every year, the average American spends almost $10,000 on health care. That’s about twice as much as those in other developing countries spend.
And unfortunately, all that spending leads to a lot of people being forced to deal with medical debt. If you don’t have a great health insurance plan or, worse, if you don’t have health insurance at all, it’s easy to rack up more medical debt than you can manage.
Do you need help with medical bills? There are things you can do if you can’t afford to pay off the medical debt you owe.
Take a look at some simple strategies you can use to eliminate medical debt and steer clear of racking up more of it in the future below.
Check for Errors on Medical Bills
If you have a huge stack of medical bills sitting on your desk or your kitchen counter right now, you might be so overwhelmed by it that you don’t even bother going through each individual bill.
You’re making a big mistake if you don’t do this!
The entire medical care system is a mess when it comes to billing. You might be surprised by how often errors are made on medical bills, which can drive you even deeper into debt than you should be.
So the first thing you should do when you’re trying to shovel your way out of medical debt is check all your bills for errors. You could easily wipe away hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of debt by analyzing your bills and identifying errors on them.
Work Out Payment Plans for Medical Debt
After you’ve gone through your medical bills and verified your various debts to different medical facilities, reach out to each one to see if you can set up a payment plan. Most facilities have interest-free payment plans available for those who are in debt.
By enrolling in a payment plan and getting help with medical bills, you can avoid having your account sent to collections. You can also make it easier to manage your debt when you’re only responsible for making a small monthly payment as opposed to one big lump-sum payment.
You’ll feel the weight of the world drop off your shoulders when you’re able to get yourself enrolled in a payment plan. You’ll know exactly how much you owe on your medical bills every month and have some idea of when your debt will be 100 percent paid off.
Ask About Medical Debt Discounts
Are you in a position where you might be able to make a lump-sum payment to get rid of your medical debt once and for all?
If you are, there are many medical facilities that will offer prompt pay discounts to those who are in debt. They’ll knock off 10 or 15 percent of a person’s medical debt if they agree to pay down their debt completely within 30 days.
This won’t be an option for everyone. If, for example, you have $40,000 in medical debt, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to pay it all off in one swoop. But if your medical debt is on the smaller side, this type of discount could help you in a big way.
Attempt to Obtain Financial Assistance
If you don’t make enough money to pay down your medical debt, there are financial assistance programs available through many medical facilities. These programs are designed to help people get out of debt as quickly as they can.
You will need to put in some legwork to qualify for these types of programs. Most facilities will ask you to supply them with:
- Checking and savings account information
- Tax returns
- And more
But a little bit of effort on your part could go a long way. You can put yourself on the right path when you’re accepted into a financial assistance program.
And if you don’t qualify for the financial assistance program at your specific medical facility? It’s not the end of the world. There are also other financial assistance programs outside of the one offered by your facility that can help you out.
Take Out a Loan
Do you have medical debt that you’ve accumulated at several different medical facilities? This can be especially frustrating because it’s hard to pay back debt when you owe it all over the place.
But one of the ways you can do it without pulling your hair out is by taking out a personal loan for it. There are lots of lenders out there that specialize in working with those who have a ton of medical debt in their name.
You should, of course, try to work out a repayment plan through your medical facility first. They could very well extend an interest-free plan to you that’ll be more beneficial than a personal loan.
But if that doesn’t work out, a personal loan with a low interest rate could save you a bunch of money over time. It’ll also allow you to turn a lot of different medical debts into one single debt that’ll be easy to manage.
Avoid Going Into Further Medical Debt
Once you have your medical debt under control, do yourself a favor and do not rack up any more debt moving forward.
You can do this by being choosy about which medical procedures you have done. You can also do it by rethinking the way you’re obtaining prescription drugs.
By doing something as simple as purchasing prescriptions from a Canadian pharmacy, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars every year. It’ll help you avoid going back into debt due to medical expenses.
Get Help With Medical Bills Today
Your medical debt has kept you down long enough. Instead of allowing it to consume your thoughts and stress you out, fight back by getting help with medical bills.
Whether you choose to dispute specific items on your medical bills or take out a loan to consolidate medical debt, you have options. They’ll give you a chance to get your finances back in order and make medical debt a thing of the past for you.
You’ll have plenty of extra money floating around once your medical debt is dead. Read our blog to learn about the things you can do with all the money you’ll save.