We Tell You How to Avoid Medical Debt or Get Rid of It Completely – Part 1
The medical debt trap is to be avoided by patients and consumer advocates mention things people should avoid. Financial assistance is available, but requires self-advocacy. While managing treatment and medical costs in the complex American medical billing and health insurance systems, many patients have difficulties and feel humiliated about how to proceed. Though sick and unable to pay, 100 million people in the USA, live with medical debt burdens.
Get cost estimates
If uninsured, ask for cost estimates in advance. The federal No Surprises Act, effective from January, 2022 requires providers giving uninsured patients “good faith” estimates of planned care costs. Every hospital offers charity care or some financial assistance, with varying eligibility requirements but waive or discount bills for patients with incomes three times the federal poverty level which for a household of four in 2022, is $83,250. People who are employed often qualify for discounts or free care, and non-profit groups help patients secure charity care. Some groups develop a database of hospital charity care policies and online tools allowing patients to check eligibility and it’s worth trying. Documents such as pay stubs or income tax returns will help but is no easy process, requiring documentation to be faxed. Persistence pays If qualified under Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that streamlines applications for a hospital’s financial aid. If not a U.S. citizen or legal resident, some states like New Mexico and Maryland, bars hospitals from checking immigration status. Ambulance services do offer charity care programs, so ask if you qualify. Your medical providers maybe aware of other charitable programs covering costs for rides to medical appointments.
Incurring Medical Debt
If worried about incurring debt during a health crisis or struggling to pay bills, you’re not alone as 100 million people (41% of U.S. adults) have health care debt. But be informed and protect yourself. Experts say that patients experiencing medical issues shouldn’t navigate this complicated system, but informed consumers could avoid debt traps, by knowing the insurance coverage, a hospital’s financial assistance program, and the state’s consumer laws. Be persistent and ask lots of questions. Never take ‘no’ for an answer, as you might get a ‘yes’. Even people with health insurance could land in debt as many are underinsured, and incur huge out-of-pocket costs from co-insurance and high deductibles. Get the best insurance coverage you can afford even if very healthy. Understand what are the co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles. Call the insurer to assess all potential out-of-pocket costs, as you cannot make policy changes except during open enrolment typically in the fall or early winter, or after a major life event.
Sign up for public insurance if you qualify
If uninsured and requiring healthcare, you could qualify for public insurance – Medicaid or Medicare. Ask the provider /hospital to help you check eligibility before committing to a care plan and then stay with providers participating in such programs. Check whether your care specifics are covered. After doctors prepare your treatment plan, verify if all providers to be seen are in-network and whether the treatment must be pre-authorized. Question your insurance provider, doctor’s office, or hospital, especially for planned procedures. If the drug isn’t covered by insurance, the drug-maker may have a patient assistance program with varying eligibility requirements.
More in Debt
How Well does Your Money Perform in These Popular Savings Options?
With rising interest rates, do reconsider investing your money in the right account to achieve financial goals. You do not earn...August 22, 2022
5 Major Reasons Why Debt Is Not Good For You
A lot of people would say that it is inevitable to not get into debt, especially with how the lifestyle most...August 10, 2022
Crowdfunding 101: What Not To Do With Your Fundraising Campaign
You can drive a point across and make a very powerful impact if you know how to carry out your crowdfunding...August 9, 2022
Americans are Eating Through Their Savings at a Record High
2 Out Of 3 Americans will confirm they are blowing through their savings to cope with the increasing inflation. Americans piled...August 8, 2022
The Five Biggest Investment Trends of the Year You Should Know About
Brexit made one of the biggest headlines ever when they decided to exit the European Union. This has lost of implications...August 5, 2022
We Tell You How to Avoid Medical Debt or Get Rid of It Completely – Part 2
During Treatment or Soon After Request detailed costs for all services, prescriptions, or treatments received and monitor costs as these occur,...August 4, 2022
How Employers Benefit from Helping Workers Pay Student Loans
When a person starts working in any job, one of his or her ideal priorities is to start saving for the...August 2, 2022
How Many Credit Cards is Too Much and What It Means for Your Credit Score
Almost 170 million Americans possess one credit card. But how many cards must you have? Credit cards help build credit to...August 1, 2022
The Real Cost of Student Debt on Millennial Happiness
Out of the many freedoms that we enjoy, or alternatively, crave for, is to be able to achieve financial independence and...July 29, 2022