8 Tips To Help You Manage and Avoid Medical Debt
One of the scariest things, when you fall ill, is thinking you cannot afford to get healthy. Medical debt can quickly become overwhelming and challenging to manage. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to save yourself money and limit future debt.
1. Learn Your Policy
While they are typically dry and overly complex reading, you should sit down and read through your medical insurance policies. As you read, write down questions to ask the insurance representative. Knowing your policies will help you make informed decisions about your medical care. Being an informed consumer will also allow you to be your own advocate as you review bills and expenses.
2. Create a Savings Account for Healthcare Expenses
Most likely, your insurance plans will not cover all expenses. Many policies have deductibles that you must meet before receiving coverage. To avoid any panic when you fall ill, consider starting a savings account for future healthcare costs. Depending on when you start your account, you could have a significant sum established later in life.
3. Review Your Medical Bills for Errors
Did you know that nearly half of all medical bills have errors? The coding and billing process is incredibly complex, and it is common for multiple people to work on a single patient's bill, resulting in mistakes. Before you pay any bill, review it for any errors.
[insert page='Offer' display='content']
4. Ask Questions
When you receive your bill, do not be afraid to ask questions. Additionally, when you are at the hospital, ask about the costs of treatments and therapies. Sometimes, a hospital charges for ridiculous things, and if you pay attention, you can avoid some of these charges.
5. Invest in Long-Term Care Insurance
As people age, long-term care often becomes necessary. Unfortunately, such involved care can cost upwards of $46,000. Because of the expense, it is an excellent idea to invest in long-term care insurance once you reach 50. Still, it might be worth it for older individuals as well.
6. Avoid Interest Whenever Possible
As with any other debt, medical bills can result in interest, especially when you avoid paying them. It is often best to talk to the hospital or care facility about payment arrangements. Most facilities will design payment plans without interest, saving you money in the long run.
7. Get Active
One of the best things to prevent piling medical bills is to stay healthy. You can maintain optimum health by eating a balanced diet and getting active. You do not have to commit to rigorous exercise; even 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week is enough to make a difference.
8. Know Your Rights
It should not come as a surprise that healthcare in the U.S. is costly. However, you need to understand your rights. No amount of debt should stop you from getting the emergency care you need. A hospital cannot deny emergency care based on an inability to pay. Additionally, medical debt cannot hurt your credit or count against your credit. A hospital also cannot send a bill to claims if it violates your privacy.
Medical debt is a problem in the U.S., and it often results in the avoidance of medical care. If you know your rights and take some preventative action, you can limit the likelihood of experiencing overwhelming medical debt. Do you know of any other tips to help people avoid medical debt? Comment below.