As the cost of health care continues to rise, more and more people are looking to consolidate medical bills to keep it from compromising their future. Among all the other debts, this is one of those that we cannot ignore. If you or a loved one’s life and well-being are at stake, you do not want to hold back on the cost. If it is a matter of life or death, you should never hesitate to do what it takes to get better.
This is probably why a lot of Americans are currently struggling with medical debt. According to one survey, 79 million Americans have a medical debt problem. 7 million of them are retired individuals.
The thing about medical debt is that you will always owe more than one. It has something to do with the different billing statements that you will be given. One illness will result in billing statements from the hospital, laboratory facility, and of course, the medical professional that will diagnose your illness. Imagine how many bills you have to monitor when you go through different medical treatments.
This is the reason why a lot of people are opting to consolidate medical bills. Fortunately, there are several options for you to do this.
Options to consolidate medical bills
The thing about consolidating debts is that it can help improve your financial future. It is not just the elimination of your debts. As you complete the debt consolidation program that you have chosen, you will learn a lot of positive financial habits that can help you stay out of debt.
So what are the different options that you have to consolidate medical bills?
Debt consolidation loan
The first option is to borrow a debt consolidation loan. If you have a good credit score, you can apply for a low-interest loan that is enough to cover your multiple medical bills. When you are approved, you can use this loan to pay off all the medical bills that you owe. The end result will be one debt to pay off each month.
This loan will give you the chance to restructure your debts. If you need a lower monthly payment to give more room in your budget plan, you can have that arranged in your debt consolidation loan. Or if you want to get out of debt faster, you can simply opt for a shorter repayment plan with bigger monthly payments. Either way, a debt consolidation loan is the best way for you to improve your monthly debt payments to make it easier to complete.
Home equity loan
If you have enough equity in your home, this is another option for you to consolidate medical bills. Since this is secured debt consolidation, you will get a low-interest on the loan that you will borrow. This will help you save money on the overall payments that you will make towards your medical bills.
What is great about this option is that you are practically using your own money. Not only that, but you can also adjust your monthly payments so it will not make you feel too restricted. Just like a debt consolidation loan, you can opt to have a lower monthly payment or a bigger one. That will depend on your future financial goals. Some people want to get out of debt immediately. If that is the case, you need to make bigger payments. But if you want more room in your budget to save for something while paying off debt, then lower your monthly payment requirement.
Just make sure that if you use this option, you will stick to your repayment plan. Failure to pay the loan will compromise your house. You might end up losing it.
Finally, you can consolidate medical bills by opting for debt settlement. This is more tricky than the other two option but it is still effective. You have the options to hire a debt negotiator or you can do the negotiating yourself. The difference between the two is the level of stress that you will get. Obviously, it can be more stressful if you negotiate on your own. But the process is usually the same. You call the hospital, facility, or medical professional to negotiate your debts. To make this work, you should be prepared with a lump sum money that you can offer to pay immediately. If they agree, ask for a written document that states that when you pay a certain amount, the rest of your medical bills will be forgiven or marked as settled.
When you are choosing the right option to consolidate medical bills, consider your current financial situation. You need to be honest with how much you can afford. If you need a debt reduction, go for debt settlement. If you do not mind putting your house at risk, you can opt for the home equity loan. But if you are aiming for a simple restructuring of your debts, then go for a debt consolidation loan.
Steps to consolidate medical bills
If you want to secure your future, do something about your medical debts. Failing to pay it off now will just lead to more problems.
Health care costs seem to rise at an alarming rate. According to one report, 7 out of 10 Americans said that their healthcare costs have risen over the years. And no matter how high it gets, when you need it, there is no way that you can skip the expense. This is why if you have unpaid medical bills, you need to do something about it. You will never know when the need for another medical treatment will arise. If that happens and you still have a balance, it will only make your current debt grow.
Of course, paying off this debt is easier said than done. But if you are determined to improve your finances, here are a couple of tips that you can use.
- Do not ignore the debt. Even if you cannot afford to pay it back, ignoring it will only make things worse. Just talk to those involved so you can come up with a repayment plan that you can afford.
- Scrutinize the billing statement. People make mistakes. For every billing statement that you receive, look at every detail to confirm that it was given. If you are insured, you need to check what is covered and what is not. Call to clarify in case there is something that you do not understand.
- Negotiate the price. There are many areas in the billing statement that you can probably negotiate. Even if it is the professional fee or treatment, check if you can have the price lowered.
- Pay off the debt. Finally, whatever is left should be paid off. Consolidate medical bills if you think that is what you need.