Getting medical treatment can be expensive. While insurance can cover the bulk of treatment and other services, there are times when that isn’t possible. Here are five ways you can pay for medical expenses.
1. By Negotiating
The first thing you should try when you can’t afford to pay a medical bill on time is to negotiate. You have several negotiation options available to you. Start by calling your insurance company and healthcare provider and request itemized copies of each bill. They may be able to decrease the amount you owe for various reasons, including clerical errors. You can also negotiate payment plans, discounts, and alternative payment options.
2. By Applying for Loans
You can apply for several different types of loans, including regular personal loans and a version of a personal loan called an emergency medical loan. Loans can help you get the cash you need to pay for medical expenses quickly, but may not be the best first choice for everyone. You’ll need to pay back the loan you use to pay your medical bills at a later date and most loans come with interest rates, which means you’ll be paying more in the long run.
3. By Seeking Help from Funding Programs
Depending on the reason for your medical bills, you may be eligible for assistance from a funding or support program. These programs exist to help people dealing with expensive ailments with lengthy treatment regimens such as cancer, particularly when the health issue causes the person to lose income or support from family and friends. They’re also available for people dealing with rare illnesses and those that are difficult to treat. Your hospital or treatment center should have information available on such programs.
4. By Using HSAs and FSAs
Many people choose to set up HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) or FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts) to help pay for medical expenses. These accounts are typically offered as part of high-deductible health insurance plans, but you may be able to set up an FSA independently. They’re useful because you can make tax-free deposits to build an emergency medical fund and avoid accruing debt when dealing with expensive medical bills.
5. By Utilizing Crowdfunding
With the rise of social media, crowdfunding has become a more popular and well-known method of raising the money needed to pay for various medical expenses. While there is no guarantee that a crowdfunding campaign will raise the amount of money you need within your set timeframe, it’s still a very versatile method of doing so. You can set up your campaign on one of several host websites designed to support crowdfunding and get people to share it on social media. By including necessary information on the reason you’re crowdfunding and explaining why you need the money, you may influence those who see posts about your campaign to donate.
Above all, remember that there are options available to you. You may want to research them on your own or speak with a financial professional about them, but they do exist for you to take advantage of.