With all the debate about healthcare and the changes happening throughout the industry as a result of the Affordable Care Act many people are concerned about what they can do to take healthcare costs into their own hands.
It should come as no surprise that the costs of healthcare in the US is extremely high. Those who are uninsured at the moment often have to rely on a wing and a prayer in order to ensure that they don’t end up losing a fortune to medical bills as a result of a freak accident.
That’s something I found out first hand after spending years uninsured. Much of that time I spent restlessly trying to figure out how I was going to pay for incurred medical costs. Here are just a few tips I learnt to help set you in the right direction if you find yourself in the same situation.
Visit Your Local DHHS
Many people wonder how those who are unemployed or simply can’t afford private insurance are able to handle their medical bills, and it’s a rather good question. More often than not, however, they’re receiving government-sponsored care through their state. When I lived in Maine, I took advantage of MaineCare, which is offered to lower-income families who are unable to afford insurance and don’t receive it through their employer.
Government assistance is the kind of thing that I used to feel I was too good or too proud to receive, but it when I had an accident, it meant the difference between staying afloat and sinking underneath a mountain of bills.
Visit your local department of health and human services for more information about how you might be able to receive this type of assistance – there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Don’t Overlook Social Security Disability Benefits
What a lot of people don’t realize when it comes to staying healthy and avoiding excessive medical bills is that social security disability benefits can actually make a huge difference. There have been a handful offibromyalgia social security disability cases , for example, in which those suffering from the condition have received help in order to get the treatment they need, but this is just one of the many conditions covered by social security.
Proving to social security that your condition is bad enough to warrant benefits isn’t always easy, though, and you’ll want to have as much documentation from your doctor as possible if you choose to take this route. Still, it’s an excellent option for the uninsured.
Ask for a Discount When Paying Out of Pocket
It’s actually a lot rarer than most people think for doctors’ offices to see their patients pay out of pocket with a debit or credit card the day of a visit. If this is something that you either have to or choose to do, make sure to ask whether or not they offer any discounts for prompt out-of-pocket payments.
It’s important to remember that medical facilities very often get stiffed by patients who cannot afford to pay for their care, so they’re quite pleased when they see people pay up-front.
You can use this knowledge to leverage the amount of money you actually owe them just as long as you are clear about the fact that you’d prefer to get a discounted rate for your care. In my experience, I’ve had cases where a doctor refused an upfront cash payment, but I shopped around and did eventually find one that did,
So don’t let a lack of insurance bring you down. Understand how to handle paying for healthcare costs, and you’ll save more money than you likely would’ve thought.