Medical debt problems can be quite stressful to deal with. Your health problem is already difficult to face. What if it also comes with financial difficulties?
That won’t be surprising. After all, the healthcare costs in this country are very high. One sickness can easily push you towards a deep debt pit. In fact, a survey reveals that 1 out of 3 Americans owe a medical debt in some form. The same study also said that 28% of those with medical debt had a balance of $10,000 or higher. If you have a lingering medical condition, it can even make you file for bankruptcy.
This is why you have to try to solve your medical debt problems as soon as possible. It can make things really stressful for you. Instead of being able to focus on your healing, you’re left feeling anxious about the whole situation. You won’t be able to sleep well. These will make things a lot worse.
Fortunately for you, there are ways for you to solve any difficult medical debts that you may have. You want to work on this as soon as possible because that’s how you can keep it from affecting your health further.
Tips to solve your medical debt problems successfully
If you are still trying to recover from your medical condition, you don’t want to be struggling with debt the whole time. So what can you do to improve both your debt and health situation?
The simple solution here is to have a concrete plan for your medical debt problems. Because once you have a plan, you’ll feel more secure about it. You know that your debt will not make things worse because you are slowly but surely paying it off.
Ask for financial assistance
There are a lot of financial assistance programs available to people struggling to pay their medical bills. Some are government-backed programs while others are from non-profit organizations. You have to find out what options you can qualify for.
For instance, maybe you qualify for Medicaid. This is set up by the federal government to help low-income families with their medical expenses. They should have an office in your state. So make sure you research the qualifications so you can get assistance. While this will not pay for current bills, it will help cover future ones. That means you don’t have to worry about your debts growing even if you’re still undergoing treatments.
There are also state-sponsored programs that you can look into. There’s even a program that’s specific for kids of low-income families. Find out if you can avail of these as well.
Negotiate for an affordable repayment plan
You can also get in touch with the health care facility that you owe the debt from. These could be the hospital, clinic, or medical professional who treated you. Ask about their repayment program. Most healthcare facilities have some form of program that will make payments more affordable. They know that the healthcare system is very expensive so they want to make it easier to pay off.
If you go through this route, you might want to learn how to negotiate debt and succeed. You can negotiate a low-interest rate of your medical debt. Or maybe, you can ask to lengthen your repayment plan so you end up with lower monthly payments.
You should also know how to scrutinize your medical bills too. Sometimes, the healthcare facility makes a mistake and charges you more than what you really got. These are enough to make your medical debt problems worse. So get them to change this if you can.
Use a credit card
Another option is to use a medical credit card. There are specific credit cards that you can use to pay any medical bill that will come your way. A lot of medical practitioners accept these cards. In fact, some of these even offer the cards in their respective clinics. These cards come with specific programs that will make payments easier.
You also have the option to defer the interest charges. This means if you pay your balance within a pre-determined time frame, the interest will no longer be charged. Just make sure to read the terms. Because there are clauses that say if you don’t pay off the balance in full, you’ll be charged the full interest that accumulated until that time. Or you’ll be charged high penalties if you are late on payments.
If getting a medical credit card is not appealing to you, get a low-interest credit card – or a 0% balance transfer card. It works the same way. You get to pay only the balance within the promo period. But after that, the high-interest rate kicks in.
Avoid these options to solve medical debt
While there are several options to solve medical debt problems, it’s important to identify those that you should avoid. These are the options that will not help and in fact, could make things worse.
Ignore the medical debt
Did you know that 137 million Americans think that medical bills are the scariest to open? It’s tempting to ignore the medical bills coming in especially if you’re trying to focus on getting better. While your health should be your priority, it’s important to do something about your debts.
If you really cannot pay it off, that’s okay. But you have to get in touch with the healthcare facility. You have to let them know that you’re having a hard time. Don’t be afraid to be honest about your situation. You might be surprised that they will be more than willing to help you. In fact, they will even appreciate that you’re trying your best to meet your payment obligation to them. If you have this set up with them, it will be easier for you to focus on getting better. You know that the healthcare provider will give you space as you try to get better.
Just make sure that you will stick to your end of the deal when it comes to your debts. You still have to pay that off. So while the healthcare provider has agreed to back off, try to figure out how you’ll repay it. Maybe start researching financial assistance options or something similar.
Use your high-interest credit card
If you’re trying to find a way to pay off your debts, try not to use your high-interest credit card. If you can’t pay that credit card immediately, the high-interest rate will make your debt grow. You see, the balance you carry over to the next billing cycle will have finance charges added to it. This is calculated based on the interest rate and balance. The high-interest means this finance charge will be higher.
This increase will really make you feel more stressed. So as much as possible, don’t use your high-interest card. There are other options for you to consider. Choose the one with a lower interest rate so you can save money.