A whopping 79 million Americans are currently struggling with outstanding medical bills or other medical expenses.
Are you part of this group?
If so, you know how stressful it can be trying to figure out how you’re going to pay your medical bills and stop the constant collections calls.
The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to pay off your medical bills quickly.
Read on to learn some tips that will help you speed up the process of paying off medical bills and reduce your healthcare costs.
Tips for Paying Off Medical Bills
If you’re currently overwhelmed by medical bills, these tips will help you to pay them off more quickly:
Review Your Bills First
If you’re like most people, you only look at the amount due and the due date when checking your medical bills.
Be sure to look at your bills thoroughly before you pay them, though. Errors on medical bills can be quite common — and expensive.
Scour your bill for any errors that could have increased the total amount due.
Ask about Financial Aid
If you cannot afford to pay your medical bills on time, reach out to your health care provider to see if they offer any kind of financial aid or patient assistance.
Sometimes, if your income falls within a certain range, you can qualify for a reduction of your bills.
In some cases, it’s possible to negotiate the price of your medical bills.
For example, if you can show that other healthcare providers in your area provide a service for less than what your doctor charged, you might get lower rates.
Set Up a Payment Plan
Many healthcare providers are willing to work with you if you can’t pay your bill on time. They don’t want to send your bills to collections.
If they can’t offer you financial aid, ask if they’ll set up a payment plan and allow you to pay off your bill in installments.
Talk to Your Insurance Provider
If you’re having a hard time paying your bills, consider switching to a different insurance plan. Reach out to your insurance provider and ask if there is a better plan that will meet your particular needs.
Ask about a Prompt Pay Discount
If your bill has been sent to collections already, ask if the collections agency will give you a discount for paying the total amount due today.
This is known as a prompt pay discount and can take a big chunk out of your bill. The catch is that you have to be able to pay on the day that you speak with a collections officer.
How to Reduce Your Healthcare Costs
Paying off your medical bills is a great first step. But the journey doesn’t end there. You also need to take steps to minimize your healthcare costs.
By following these guidelines, you can make sure you don’t end up with unmanageable medical bills moving forward:
Use Employee Wellness Programs
Employee wellness programs are a great option that can help you save a lot of money on your health insurance premiums.
These plans often reward workers for meeting certain requirements when they undergo health screenings. They might also match contributions to your Health Savings Account (or HSA).
Set Up an HSA
Speaking of HSAs, set one of those up as soon as you can.
An HSA is a tax-free account that is used to help cover the cost of things like copays and prescription drugs. Deposit a percentage of your income into this account so that you always have money on hand to pay your medical bills.
Whenever you can, ask for generic drugs instead of brand name.
Before you start panicking, remember that there’s virtually no difference in terms of effects between generic drugs and their brand-name counterparts.
Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as brand name drugs, but they’re a lot more affordable.
Buy Medications in Bulk
Try to buy medications in bulk if you can. Ask for a 60- or 90-day supply instead of a 30-day supply, for example. Larger quantities come with a lower price tag.
Most times, it’s easier to prevent health problems than it is to treat them.
Instead of waiting until you get sick to see the doctor, go in when you’re feeling fine for preventative treatments (physical exams, blood tests, gynecological exams, etc.). These treatments are often fully covered by your health insurance plan, so they won’t cost you extra.
If your doctor finds that something is wrong while you’re going through these exams, they can recommend lifestyle changes and other steps you can take to prevent the issue from progressing and becoming more expensive.
Look into Supplemental Insurance
Supplemental insurance can help to offset the cost of treatments not covered by traditional insurance, such as vision and dental care.
If you rely on Medicare for your health coverage, look into Medicare supplemental insurance to fill in the gaps.
You might have to pay more each month for the cost of supplemental insurance. However, you’ll likely end up saving money later on since you’ll have fewer copays and more treatments covered by your insurance plan.
Looking for More Money Management Tips?
As you can see, there are lots of different steps you can take when paying off medical bills to expedite the process and reduce future expenses.
Keep these tips in mind so you can get control over your money and maintain that control.
Are you interested in learning about other money saving or money management techniques?
If so, check out the Money section of our site today. You’ll find all kinds of informative articles that will help you become a financial wizard in no time!