Tips To Pay Your Medical Bills
Your medical bills can be daunting to pay. You can pay them when you approach the bills methodically. Read on to learn how to understand how to pay your bills in a manageable way, your consumer rights, and how to better manage your finances.
Check the Charges
Your medical bills can be so expensive because of billing mistakes. It’s common to be charged for treatment or medicine that you did not receive. You can also be charged for an extended stay in the hospital. The full-day rate is charged even though you checked out in the morning. Be sure you read through the bill carefully to protect yourself from being overcharged.
Get the Itemized bills because the explanation of benefits you obtain does not contain the breakdown of the costs you have incurred. The itemized bill will tell you the specifics of the charges you have incurred.
Negotiate an interest-free payment plan
You can talk to the hospital about your bill and ask them for an interest-free payment plan. This fine print is often missed, but you can ask the hospital to check if they offer this payment method. You can even negotiate the monthly fees to suit your economic means. If the monthly payment is still too high, don’t be afraid to negotiate a rate that works for your current means.
Prompt Pay Discount
There are hospitals and doctors that give you a one-time discount for paying a lump sum of money within 30 days. Sometimes they take 10% or more out of the bill to encourage you to pay quickly.
You can even negotiate for a bigger discount by finding out what other doctors and hospitals charge for the service you received. If the charges are too high, you can negotiate for a better price.
Explore Financial Assistance
Let go of your pride. You’re not a failure or a horrible person for not having the money to pay your medical bills. Hospitals offer financial assistance if you have trouble paying your bills, but each facility has its own rules. You can also explore medical assistance programs to help pay for your bill. Please note that you will need to bring documents and personal identification for this process.
Know Your Rights
Debt collectors must also follow the rules and cannot harass you if you know your rights. Learning your rights will enable you to protect yourself and your family.
Here is a list of some of the rules debt collectors must follow:
- They cannot call you an unreasonable amount of times in a day including before 8 am or 9 pm.
- Calling you at work is also not allowed after you asked them to stop.
- Threatening you with a lawsuit for an insignificant reason is wrong.
- Informing you that you have committed a crime by not paying cannot be done.
- Threaten to tell other people in your life about your debt except for your spouse or lawyer.
There are other rules debt collectors cannot break apart from this list. It would be best to consult your lawyer because the laws may change per state.
Become Financially Literate
Financial literacy is just knowing how to manage your finances. This skill is not taught in schools, and not all parents teach their kids either. You’re going to need to learn how to manage your finances properly, or you will always find yourself in debt.
The first step is to take an inventory of your finances. Compare how much you earn against how much you spend. You can use apps to make the process easier. Getting this information will allow you to make a budget to help you pay for everything.
You’re going to need to check your constant costs which are rent and utilities. Next, your more varied costs like food and entertainment will have to be checked. Check for items in your varied costs and find things you can trim down. You’ll be able to save more money than you think by trimming down on a few things. Maybe eat out less or watch only one movie a month. You can also cancel on subscriptions you don’t use often.
Here are other habits you can implement in your life to increase your financial literacy:
- Take financial literacy courses in your local universities.
- Use financial management apps to help track your expenses.
- Listen to financial management podcasts or watch Youtube videos in your home.
- Read books and magazines about managing your money, savings, and investments.
You must double-check everything you learn to avoid being scammed.
Only you can control your finances no one else. Improving your financial literacy is the only way you have to make lasting improvements in your life.
In the end, there are a lot of ways to lower your medical bill to manageable levels. Checking your charges, not using credit cards, negotiating a discount, financial assistance programs, understanding your rights, and becoming financially literate can help you pay your bills.