No Health Insurance? Here Are Six Ways to Get Those Medical Bills Paid
When you make the bold decision to go about life without having the safety net of health insurance for whatever reasons, you will need to prepare yourself somehow for the consequences of this choice. Whether a medical procedure is planned or not, they all cost a lot of dough.
Without health insurance, you are one hundred percent liable for the payment of the bill. We’re here to tell you of six proactive approaches you could turn to when it comes to paying off those sky-high bills. Health care costs are on the rise and people are finding it hard to meet the costs, even those with the help of insurance.
You may not be aware of it, but just like grocery store items cost different prices depending on where you shop, medical care has different charges across different hospitals and healthcare providers. Calling around and visiting the healthcare services around you can give you the figures you need to know which is the least expensive hospital, clinic, or healthcare provider near you. Different procedures cost different prices, and if you are having planned surgery, then it is useful to choose the cheapest hospital. For emergency care, have an idea of the general costs and choose from there so that in the event of an emergency, you know which hospital to go to.
Request Reduced Rates
The doctor knows that medical rates are high, and several doctor’s offices actually offer lower rates in the event that you do not have health insurance to help you cough up the cash. While this is available, you will have to ask for the discount to ensure that you receive it. In some cases, you could even pay in advance and qualify for better rates in this way for planned medical procedures. For example, when you’re going to have a baby and you know which hospital you will deliver at, you could pay in advance. Of course, this is not relevant to emergencies.
Cold, Hard Cash
If you call the hospital or doctor immediately upon receiving your bill to arrange a payment plan, the hospital or doctor will oftentimes offer you a lower amount to pay in the event that you can pay it immediately. Normally, if you are paying over several months, you don’t get any discount off your bill. If you don’t call immediately, you could be referred to a collection agency which is far more difficult to negotiate with.
Generics and Samples
Whenever you get a prescription, you can ask your doctor to provide you with free samples. Many practitioners have tons of free samples and are more than happy to hand them out as they do expire. In addition, when you are purchasing medication, it may be very cost-effective to instead purchase the generics of different medications rather than the branded versions. Generics usually cost a fraction of the branded version’s price. You could also check whether you qualify for a prescription assistance program. Also, shop around for an affordable pharmacy – and don’t forget to check online.
Set Up a Medical Fund
It can give you great peace of mind if you have a fund set aside for emergency medical care or even to dip into for medication and/or medical accessories. Should you opt against health insurance, the next best thing you can do if you can afford it is to set aside an amount to go into a medical fund and have this amount debited out of your account directly into that one before you can change your mind.
Consider a High Deductible Insurance
At the very minimum, it is best that you try to arrange for a high deductible health insurance plan, and preferably one with a health savings account. This is the least expensive of all insurance types and it offers protection should you require emergency health care or if you become very ill. You are liable for all costs up until the deductible value, after which your medical bills for the rest of the year are paid in full by the insurance.
The very most important investment you can make is in your health. Human beings are fragile, in many ways, and even if you haven’t been ill all year and if you haven’t ever had an accident, you have no idea what may happen in the future. Besides, with age comes more problems, and life grows more busy and risky by the day. Always have a financial plan for your health, and always try to have the most cover you can afford.
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