In 2017, Americans spent $10,348 on healthcare per person for a combined $3.3 trillion.
Do you have an extra $10,000 laying around for medical bills?
Life happens to all of us. Babies come, car accidents happen, and kids get hurt. Keep reading to find out what you can do to pay off those high medical bills.
Double Check Your Charges
The first thing to do when you receive a medical bill in the mail is to double check the charges.
Up to 80 percent of all medical bills contain errors. If you simply accept the charges as is, you’ll end up overcharged because of someone else’s mistake.
Instead, request an itemized bill and carefully review each line item. Did you really take that IV they charged you for? Did you end up paying for a second scan because a nurse messed up on the first one?
These things add up. It’s perfectly acceptable — and recommended — to speak out against errors in your bill.
Negotiate the Bill
If you still need help with medical bills after insurance, try negotiating your bill. Just because everything is correct with your bill doesn’t mean that you still have to pay the full amount.
Many hospitals allow negotiations for a lower amount with cash payments. Call up the billing department and ask what the absolute minimum amount they’ll accept for your bill is.
Medical entities also allow you to set up a payment plan to help with large medical bills. You can spread one large payment into smaller, monthly payments. Pro tip: if you set up a payment plan, you can still try to negotiate the remaining balance at a later time.
Apply for a Personal Loan
Once you’ve negotiated with the hospital for a lower payment or payment plan, now it’s time to come up with the cash — and quick!
A personal loan is a great option for emergencies. It’s possible to receive the money the very same day and you don’t need to provide a reason for the loan request. All it takes to receive a personal loan is to provide very basic information to an online lender.
Even if your credit score is not the best, personal loans are not of the table. In fact, bad credit personal loans are one of the most common ways that medical bills are paid for.
One subset of personal loans is installment loans, which are particularly useful for emergencies.
Installment loans mean your repayment is broken into several monthly payments, or installments. This takes away some of the pressure of owing money to a lender — especially when you’re already dealing with a medical emergency.
Many installment loans are even available to those with bad credit.
Paying for Emergencies Beyond Medical Bills
Now you know how to pay medical bills you can’t afford.
First, double check that the charges are correct and argue any discrepancies. Then, try to negotiate the bill total down or set up a payment plan. If you still can’t pay the medical bills, turn to a personal loan for some quick cash to help get you back on your feet.
You can use personal loans to pay for other emergencies beyond medical bills. The next time you’re in need of cash fast, apply for a loan online and turn your emergency into a mere inconvenience.
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