You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in the U.S. who hasn’t been put through the wringer with regard to medical bills. With routine procedures costing exorbitant sums, there’s little wonder as to why so many of us go out of our way to avoid seeking professional medical treatment. While there’s no denying that U.S. healthcare costs are out of control, you shouldn’t ever deny yourself the care you need for fear of financial strain. As you’ll find, there are a number of ways to make even the highest medical bills considerably less costly.
Request an Explanation of the Charges
Since 80% of all medical bills contain errors, there’s a good chance your next big bill will be among them. With this in mind, you should make sure you’re not paying for services you never received. So, the next time you’re faced with an unreasonably high bill, call the healthcare provider and request that every single charge be explained to you in detail. After all, if they expect you to fork over an exorbitant sum, they’d better be able to justify each and every charge. In many cases, requesting an explanation has the power to get a substantial sum taken off your bill.
Try Your Hand at Negotiating
Although many of us haggle for a wide assortment of goods and services, most people are unaware that healthcare providers are often more than willing to negotiate bills with patients. So, if your next medical bill is less than affordable, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your provider and request that they forgive a large portion of the debt. Additionally, if you’re uninsured or underinsured, some providers will instantly provide you with generous discounts.
Even if your provider isn’t amenable to offering discounts, they’ll more than likely work with you on hammering out a mutually agreeable payment plan. If a provider sees that you’re making an effort to pay a bill, they generally won’t send it to collections.
Request a Discount for Prompt Payment
Some providers offer prompt payment discounts to uninsured and underinsured patients. As the name implies, these discounts are given in exchange for expedited payment of bills. For example, if you offer to pay a bill right now instead of months down the line on an installment plan, your provider may reward you with a considerable discount. The exact amount varies depending on the provider, but odds are you’ll be very pleased with the discount you receive.
Seek Treatment at Places That Offer Financial Aid
If you’re uninsured, underinsured or financially strained, you can benefit from seeking treatment at healthcare facilities that offer financial aid to patients. However, it’s important to note that many of these facilities don’t openly advertise their financial aid programs, so the onus is on you to make the right inquiries. Depending on your financial situation, you may even qualify for full-on debt forgiveness. So, even if you don’t think you qualify, make a point of getting in touch with your provider’s financial aid department. Ohioans on the hunt for a healthcare provider that offers financial aid should search for “general family medical practice Mason, OH.”
Consider Applying for Medicaid
Depending on where you’re based and your current financial situation, you may qualify for Medicaid in your state and not even realize it. A federal and state program that assists low-income individuals with healthcare costs, Medicaid has helped millions of Americans get the care they deserve without putting a hole in their finances.
To find out if you qualify, pay a visit to your state’s Medicaid website. If you lack regular internet access, head down to your local welfare office, where people will be able to walk you through the application process.
The U.S. healthcare system is far from perfect. Although the Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people buy dependable insurance, medical costs continue to skyrocket as a growing number of Americans become increasingly mired in medical debt. As most Americans will tell you, few things are more disheartening than opening up an unreasonably large medical bill. So, the next time you find yourself on the receiving end of exorbitant medical costs, take care to consider the measures discussed above.