Finding Help For Medical Bills

The present times have brought us technological advancements that lengthen our life span and make living easier even with debilitating diseases. Nevertheless, these medical treatments also come with steep medical bills. In fact, most people tend to delay going to the hospital in hopes that they don’t need to pay for the hospital bills that come with seeking medical attention. However, when an unexpected accident or a disease comes up, there is no longer a choice left but to go to a hospital. Luckily, there are now different methods and organizations that are willing to help with medical bills. You only need to find which one works the best for you.

  • Ask your hospitals. Typically, hospitals are willing to refer you to their charity service cases, which will help with medical bills by approximately 50-75%. These charity cases exist in return for the decreased tax revenues the government will charge of the hospitals. However, you may need to be in a certain income range to be able to qualify. Another option is to negotiate with the hospital and your doctor by explaining your situation. Most of the time, they cut the costs and you can pay less than you are expected to.
  • Approach your government. You may not be aware of this but the government provides various grants to help pay hospital bills of those who are qualified. Typically, the grants are open for children, for senior citizens for disabled people and for those who are suffering from diseases that need lifetime treatment. If your case qualifies then you can easily get help with medical bills.
  • File for medical loans. This is usually done even when people don’t have health insurance. With affordable interest rates, it is easy to pay back your loans and pay hospital bills at the same time. It is also easier to qualify for a medical loan compared to charity services or government grants.

Finding help with medical bills don’t need to be strenuous. As long as you are determined to pay off your hospital bills then it will be worth it.

 

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Guide To Avoid a Medical Bankruptcy

Did you know that more than half of all bankruptcies are because people are unable to pay their medical bills? This matter cannot be neglected anymore due to the factor that numerous people have to lodge complaint for a bankruptcy due to the expensiveness of medical bills day after day. Something that you need to understand is that in order to avoid a medical bankruptcy you first need to know how you can avoid it and what steps you need to make in order to stay away from a bankruptcy. If there is one thing you do not want to do that would be filing for a bankruptcy because all that is going to do is ruin your credit for 7 years or more and hurt your borrowing power even more than you will ever know.

When it comes to staying on the sidelines of a financial problem of great tips I have for you is simply not to be in a place where you cannot pay for your bills. I know that medical bills are usually unexpected but the fact of the matter is you can not cover too much thinking with respect to payments of others, because everything seems to return all their medical bills. My advice to you is to make sure that you don’t have any debt anywhere else because the second you get a medical bill that needs to be paid you should pay it or else you will run the risk of getting a lien on your house, the medical facility taking money from your bank account and even such things as getting your wages garnished.

Tips to avoid a medical bankruptcy

Have proper insurance – The first thing you must do in order to avoid a medical bankruptcy is to have proper insurance. The thing to understand is that many people in the United States does not have adequate insurance and that is a major reason why so many people have to file a medical bankruptcy. My advice to you is to do whatever you can in order to get the best insurance possible because without it you will have higher odds of filing a bankruptcy when you really should not have to.

Plan ahead – If you know you will need to go into operating room for something important then you need to have a plan and be prepared to pay cash for whatever it is you are needing. What most people don’t understand is there is always enough time to save up for a medical procedure so if you know one is coming up then sell things, cut costs, and ultimately save part of your income in order to cover your medical costs.

The most important factor a person have to know in order to escape a medical bankruptcy is to be sure that the outstanding bills are paid off or about to be paid off.

 

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Tips On Medical Decision

Let me introduce you to Cari; a teacher, loving wife, and mother of two young children whom was recently diagnosed with crohn’s disease and prescribed infusions. Cari, assumed her insurance policy covered these treatments until she received a bill for close to $20,000, and that was for ONE treatment. She would have to continue these treatments every five weeks!!!!! After not much success, Cari reached out to me in panic, and we managed to get her bill down to $411 with some of the following tips:

1. Get into your Zen: The last thing Cari needed was an ulcer. With a few deep breathes and a plan of action in place, she was ready to tackle this “billing monster.”

2. Get a copy of the itemized bill and medical records: We were able to uncover some billing mistakes, but get a “clearer picture” of what was being done and if there were any options. In Cari’s place, it looked like her insurance rejected part of the bill because the infusion center was not covered by her insurance.

3. Talk to the right person: Some facilities have patient advocates or social workers that can help find other options for payment. Cari was able to verify what we discovered through an advocate at the facility. In addition, the advocate pointed out some additional insurance options that Cari was qualified for, but not taking advantage, so we immediately filled out all the paperwork with the help of the facility and got her on the correct plan within 2 months.

4. Talk to your prescribing doctor: Maybe there is an alternative medication or cheaper treatment? In Cari’s case, she had an adverse reaction to alternative treatments, so that was not an option. In some cases, the prescribing doctor may have free samples (usually about 2 months worth) that he/she can provide you with until a financial solution is figured out. Cari’s case was a little more difficult since she was in need of a biologic which tends to be a little more complicated therapy since there are many factors involved including an infusion site.

5. Find out what financial assistance programs are out there: There are plenty of “patience assistance programs” and/or “financial need programs” that are available for all situations. Familiarize yourself with these programs and get qualified as soon as possible. Some websites that may be helpful include: NeedyMeds, together Rx Access, or a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program.

6. Go straight to the manufacturer: Many larger manufactures have an “Access Services Manager” or someone equivalent that can help guide you through the process of qualifying for some of these access and affordability programs. Cari found Kim, an access services manager for the Remicade she needed by going to the Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. website and calling the 888 number provided. For those that are not as savvy, the prescribing doctor can help provide you with the correct number by contacting the representative they deal with from that pharmaceutical company.

7. Be pleasant and prepared: Before initiating any calls, take a deep breathe and be sure you write down the following information so you can provide it in a cohesive way when the representative asks, which will make the call pleasant and quick:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The pharmaceutical prescription
  • The desired location if needed
  • Insurance information (if you have insurance)
  • Your income level (a copy of your W-2 can provide this information)

Some programs may require additional information, and you may not get the correct person on the phone the first time. Be patient and be persistent. If your blood starts to boil, hang up and call again when you are calm, or have a loved one call with you.

8. Take notes: Get the person’s name and contact information if possible. Document the date and time of the call, and summarize what was said, including any additional instructions given to you as well as when the person may call you back. In Cari’s case, we were asked to call back to get an update on what Kim was able to find out regarding her situation. In conclusion, Kim was able to locate a site that was accepting her insurance and determine that this site was accepting new patients. Kim also enrolled Cari in an additional free service to remind her of her infusion dates.

9. Breathe and get started: Now that everything is verified, Cari is able to get her infusions and NOT go into medical debt. In addition, she knows to ask for an itemized bill and a copy of her medical records after each infusion, so she can keep track of her bills and be sure there are no mistakes. If there is a discrepancy, she has her access service manager, Kim to help her work it out and avoid an ulcer.

 

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All About Medical Debt

Medical debt is the leading cause of filing for bankruptcy in the United States. Medical debt can be accrued in a number of ways, but is most often due to a lack of proper health insurance or unforeseen medical conditions and emergencies that are not adequately covered by insurance policies. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act many people are hoping that this trend will not continue, but as of right now it remains a very real and pressing concern for millions of Americans, many of whom are faced with overwhelming debt and unsure where to turn.

Reasons for Medical Debt

A recent study showed that 62% of households facing major debt cited medical debt as a big part of their problem. These debts come in the form of unexpected emergency room visits, which can be expensive even if a person has health insurance and are prohibitively so if the person does not. They also come in the form of dental work, which is a separate kind of insurance not generally covered by basic health plans. Dental work can easily run into the thousands of dollars, and is the kind of work that, when needed, is absolutely needed ASAP.

Another huge factor in outstanding medical debt that gives people thoughts of filing for bankruptcy is the out-of-pocket costs of prescription medications. Prescription drugs can cost an arm and a leg, and are notoriously difficult to get covered under typical health insurance plans.

Health conditions that lead to skyrocketing debt are generally related to obesity and to the effects of age, and those suffering from such conditions and the associated debts are filing for bankruptcy at an increasing rate.

Another worrying statistic in the study is that households already saddled with medical debt are less likely to seek treatment when needed, wishing to avoid further debt burden and filing for bankruptcy.

In addition, even after filing for bankruptcy, which can clear giant chunks of unsecured debt, many people are afraid to go in for new treatment, since they likely would still not have proper insurance and would not be able to discharge new medical debt for several years after the initial discharge.

1.7 million people will be filing for bankruptcy due to medical debt this year, the study estimates. Luckily the protections offered by filing for bankruptcy are strong and able to discharge most of the debts incurred by those suffering from poor health or accidents – but the larger issue is that poor health and accidents are a reality of life, and it feels like something is inherently wrong when a system fails to account for these realities in a meaningful way.

 

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