5 Ways To Make Medical Bills More Affordable
Healthcare is something that everyone should be able to afford. Here are just a few ways to make medical treatment less of a financial burden.
Take out the right health insurance scheme
Health insurance is the best way to afford medical treatment – in exchange for paying small monthly payments, your insurer will pay for any treatment you need. Of course, rates vary and there are insurers out there that won’t pay for certain procedures. This is why it’s important to take your time shopping around for the best deal. Family health insurance packages can be great for insuring multiple people. There are also specialist insurers out there that provide cover for pre-existing health conditions. Raising your deductible will help to decrease your insurance rates, however bear in mind that this means that you will have to pay more money towards treatment out of your own pocket.
Set up an FSA
A health FSA (Flexible Savings Account) encourages you to set money aside for medical emergencies. These accounts collect interest and are tax-free. It’s possible to set these accounts up so that money goes straight out of your earnings – you usually don’t have to pay tax on these earnings. Unlike traditional FSAs, health FSAs also roll over your savings from one year to the next. These accounts can only be used for medical purposes however this may include first aid essentials, over the counter medicine and even glasses in some cases. It’s possible to have an FSA and health insurance – many people use FSAs to pay for their insurance deductible.
Look for 0% interest medical loans
Whilst borrowing money is generally inadvisable, there are medical loan options out there that offer no interest, so long as you’re able to pay the money back on time. There are even 0% APR medical credit cards. Some of these cards come with a minimum annual spending amount in order to receive this interest rate, which can catch some people out.
Raising your deductible will help to decrease your insurance rates, however bear in mind that this means that you will have to pay more money towards treatment out of your own pocket. It may be also worth taking a look at this 2019 HSA contribution limits resource to understand just how much you can contribute to your health savings plan.
Shop for medicine online
You don’t have to use the medicine recommended by your doctor. There could be different brands of the same type of medicine out there that are cheaper. You can shop for affordable prescriptions online – some of these can be delivered directly to your door. Make sure to buy from trusted sellers and always do your research if you’re unsure.
Negotiate costs with your doctor
It’s sometimes possible to negotiate costs with your doctor or with medical billing staff. For example, when it comes to scheduled treatment such as surgery, you may be able to get a discount if you’re willing to pay instalments in advance. A lot of medical professionals are told not to offer these options up front so you may have to ask for them yourself. Remember that you can also try different clinics, some of which may charge different prices for the same procedure.