Medical bills can be one of the most stressful things to deal with. Whether you’re dealing with an account for a recent hospital stay or an ongoing treatment, the costs can seem impossible to manage, especially if you consider that the average cost of medical bills is around $11,000. But don’t worry, options are available to help you pay your medical bills. Here are four of the best:
Savings accounts are a great way to save money for unexpected expenses, like medical bills. If you have a good amount of money saved up, you may be able to cover the entire bill with your savings. Otherwise, you can use your savings to make a large payment on the bill and then set up a payment plan for the rest. Here are some savings accounts you should consider using:
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a particular type of account that lets you set aside money for medical expenses on a tax-free basis. You can use an HSA to pay for doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, and insurance premiums. HSAs are a great option if you have high deductibles or are self-employed.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Like HSAs, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are accounts that let you set aside money tax-free. However, FSAs can only be used to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. This means you can use an FSA to pay for copays, dental work, and eyeglasses. FSAs are a great option if you have low deductibles or are employed by a company that offers one.
If you don’t have health insurance or your health insurance doesn’t cover all of your medical expenses, other programs can help. For example, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health coverage to low- and moderate-income children. There are also programs for seniors, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Here’s what you need to know about them:
Medicaid is a government-sponsored health insurance program that helps low-income individuals and families pay for medical care. Medicaid is available in all 50 states and DC. If you think you might be eligible for Medicaid, contact your state’s Medicaid office to find out more about how to apply.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is another government-sponsored health insurance program that helps low-income families pay for medical care. CHIP is available in all 50 states and DC. If you think your child might be eligible for CHIP, contact your state’s CHIP office to find out more about how to apply.
If you can’t pay your medical bills in full, you may be able to set up a payment plan with the hospital or doctor’s office. Payment plans allow you to make smaller payments over time until the bill is paid off. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering a payment plan:
Check With The Hospital First
Some hospitals and doctor’s offices have payment plans. If you’re considering a payment plan, check with the hospital or doctor’s office first to see if they have any options available.
Get Help From A Nonprofit Organization
There are nonprofit organizations that may be able to help you pay your medical bills. For example, the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program provides transportation to and from cancer treatments. To find out if there’s a nonprofit organization that can help you, contact your local United Way for more information.
File For Bankruptcy
If your medical bills are too much to handle, you may be able to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help eliminate some or all of your debt, including your medical bills. Here are some of your options.
There are various types of bankruptcy you can file. One of the most common is filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy. With this type of bankruptcy, you propose a repayment plan to the court that lasts for three to five years. After you’ve completed your repayment plan, any remaining debt is discharged. This can help you stay on good terms with your medical provider.
With chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called liquidation bankruptcy, some of your assets are sold off to pay creditors. After your assets are sold off, your remaining debt is discharged. This bankruptcy can help you eliminate your medical debt and start fresh.
There are many options available to help you pay your medical bills. Of course, the best choice for you will depend on your circumstances. However, all the above options can help make paying your medical bills easier and less stressful.