What Is Medical Debt And How You Can Handle It?
Your health is your greatest asset. While planning your finances, one major allocation that you are sure to provide for is health. You take health insurances for yourself and your loved ones, in the hope that you will have a safety net available for the future. But despite this, you may find yourself in the clutches of a medical debt.
How will you incur medical debt?
It’s true that people who are uninsured have a higher likelihood of being in medical debt. But, it is people who have health insurance who find themselves unable to pay their medical bills fully.
Although they claim to be comprehensive, most health insurance plans do not cover certain types of medical procedures. If a person has to undergo these specific procedures or treatments, then they will have to pay the bills out-of-pocket. Many of the treatments that are not covered by the health insurance tend to be expensive, leading to hefty medical charges. These payments can slowly accumulate, leading to debt.
Another reason for medical debt can be high premiums and deductibles. Cost-sharing is a major factor for high medical debts.
Why do we incur medical debt?
A prolonged illness is just one of the reasons for medical debt. Unanticipated expenses that are a result of pregnancy, elective procedures, accidents and more can lead to your incurring debt.
Here are a few pointers that may help you if you need solutions to either avoid or overcome the debt you are in:
- Pay your bills on time:
Although paying bills at a later date seems enticing, it is one of the easiest ways to get into debt. Make sure you clear your bills at the earliest.
- Find out about the inclusions and exclusions in your insurance plan:
Most people are often unaware about the specific details of the health insurance plans they have opted for. Speak to your insurance company and find out the treatments that are covered in the plan and those that are not. This will help you plan your finances.
- Set up a payment plan:
You may have other financial obligations, apart from medical bills, to take care of. Talk to your doctor and set up a payment plan that will help you pay your medical bills on time, while not burdening you financially. You can even do this with your insurance company, by choosing plans that suit your requirements and lifestyle.
- Learn if you are eligible for medical aid:
People belonging to specific income groups are eligible for medical aid from the state. The criterion for medical aid differs in each state. Visit the nearest hospital or government agency and find out if you are eligible for aid.
- File for bankruptcy:
While this is the last option that you should consider, filing for bankruptcy will give you much needed time to gather the finances needed to pay the bills. Your medical bill may even be discharged, if you meet certain specific requirements.
With these tips, you can get one step closer to leading a comfortable life, without medical debt.