It’s not fun to have to pay for the privilege of being alive, but that’s a reality many people face.
Over 41% of people in the US struggle with medical bills. Trying to pay them off can cripple a whole family’s finances and leave them struggling with stress and debt.
But all isn’t lost, yet. Here’s how to pay medical bills you can’t afford.
Double-Check Your Bill
One common mistake people make with any kind of bill is to defer immediately to authority. It’s a psychological flaw that many of us possess.
But the truth is, bills are often wrong. The bill you receive may only have passed through one person to get to you. It could contain mistakes that leave you overcharged for no reason. And that’s to say nothing of unscrupulous practices that will tack things on in the hope you don’t notice.
If you’ve had a trip to the emergency hospital, then go through your bill before you even think about paying.
Fight If You Have To
While a period of ill health may not seem like the best time to go to war, you may have no choice if it means securing your financial health.
Fighting spurious charges or haggling to bring down the overall cost of the bill can make a huge difference to the amount you pay.
In many cases, companies make their money from the individuals who roll over, not the ones who fight back. Disputing a charge could be all you need to get it canceled. Many businesses would rather earn a quick buck elsewhere than get into a dispute.
Get a Payment Plan
Spreading the cost of a bill can make repayment more practical for those without liquid assets. This can give you the time needed to save aggressively.
Many insurers and medical companies will offer payment plans. However, you may pay more overall thanks to interest. It’s important to negotiate a payment plan that favors you and won’t just make your bill more difficult to pay in the long run.
Familiarize yourself with medical bill payment plan laws so you don’t end up a victim of illegal practices.
Get Help From the Community
When you’re being charged for something so basic as being alive, there’s no shame in getting help with medical bills.
It’s no coincidence that a huge number of GoFundMe campaigns are there to cover medical expenses. It’s a widespread problem among those on low-income brackets. But a problem shared is a problem halved, as they say.
If you have a social circle of a hundred people, then even a couple of dollars each can make $200 worth of difference without leaving anyone out of pocket. People are often willing to donate amounts they won’t miss when it means changing a life.
Also as health insurance premiums continue to increase each year, compounding at double-digit rates in some areas, more and more individuals are wondering whether getting health insurance at all is even worthwhile. You could opt for Healthcare Sharing Programs. UHSM Health Share facilitates member-to-member sharing of medical bills.
How to Pay Medical Bills You Can’t Afford: Wrapping Up
These few tips should clear up how to pay medical bills you can’t afford. We won’t say it’ll be easy, but they can turn the impossible back into the doable with a little planning.
Looking for more finance tips? Check out our finance section here.