A Guide to Dealing With Medical Bills
By | Rayanne Morriss
As medical costs continue to climb year after year, it isn’t surprising that more and more people are struggling with high medical bills. Even if you have good insurance coverage and a healthy budget, it can be difficult to foot the bill for unexpected procedures or serious illnesses.
Depending on your financial situation, medical bills may seem like a looming presence in your life – but there are steps you can take to reduce the impact they have on you. Dealing with medical expenses is an important part of maintaining a healthy financial outlook, as well as staying within your means. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean that the bills will stop coming once you handle them.
Many factors contribute to why medical expenses continue to rise – but the most important thing you can do is plan for them from day one so that they don’t end up burdening you unnecessarily. In this article, we’ll discuss some helpful tips for handling medical expenses when they just won’t stop coming…
Pay Your Premiums Promptly
Most health insurance policies allow you to take a certain amount of money out each year and use it for your premium. Depending on your plan, there may be a specific date you can choose to take out the funds. Paying your premium is a great way to save up some extra money and put it toward your medical expenses. Even if your insurance plan allows you to pay the entire premium annually, it may be worth it to take some extra money out every year so that you have a little bit of extra cash to handle unexpected bills. If your health insurance plan allows you to make bi-weekly payments, you can save even more and make sure your medical expenses are taken care of.
Set up an Automated Payment System
If you have a high-deductible health plan and/or a large number of medical expenses piling up, it may be worth it to set up an automated payment system. Most banks offer this service for free. You will be sent a series of regular deductions from your account that you can choose to accept or decline. This system can be incredibly helpful in the event of an emergency, as it makes it very easy to take a lump sum of money out of your account whenever you need to. It can also be a great way to save up money throughout the year so that you have a little extra padding when it comes to medical expenses.
Be Aware of Subscription Services and Pre-Authorized Payments
It is important to be aware of the different types of billing that can come with medical services. Most insurance companies do not allow you to opt into a service where they charge you a monthly fee for receiving your bill. If you see this type of billing on any bill, you need to contact your insurance company to ask why it isn’t included in your standard premium. Subscription billing is also a major red flag. If you have a subscription service for your medications, you need to find out what the cost is and make sure that it is included in your medical expenses. Pre-authorized billing is also a safe bet. This type of billing allows your insurance company to plan for your expenses without needing to worry about over-billing or under-billing.
Estimate How Much You’ll Need to Fund a Health Savings Account
If you are struggling with medical expenses, it may be worth it to set up a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows you to put money away for medical expenses that you may not be able to pay off right away. You will need to provide your plan with a special identification number that they will use to deduct money from your HSA. You may be able to get an extra discount on your medications or dental expenses by funding an HSA. It is important to note that funding an HSA is always preferable to paying interest on a credit card, as it will save you money in taxes and put money right back in your pocket.
Get a Basic Understanding of Your Coverage
If you end up struggling with medical expenses, it can be helpful to get a basic understanding of your coverage. The first thing you want to do is look at your health insurance plan and determine how much you are spending. Once you have that information, you can take a step back and determine where you are spending the most money. It can be helpful to look at your medical expenses from a financial perspective, as it can often help you find areas to cut back. For example, you may be spending a lot of money on medications. If so, you may want to look at the types of medications you are taking and determine if you need to re-evaluate a certain prescription. You may also find that you are spending a lot on certain procedures or types of care. If so, you may want to consider whether it is necessary. If you find that you are still running into a wall, you can reach out for medical bill relief. Doing this can allow you to potentially free yourself of some debt.
Medical costs have become significantly more expensive than they were just a few years ago, and this can make it difficult to deal with your bills when they just won’t stop coming. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and make it easier to pay your bills when they just won’t stop coming. For example, you can set up an automated payment system, estimate how much you’ll need to fund an HSA, get a basic understanding of your coverage, and more.