6 Ways You Can Find Help With Medical Bills
When you or a loved one faces an unexpected illness or injury, medical expenses can add up quickly. In fact, over 66% of all bankruptcies are due to medical issues in the US, according to CNBC. It can be tough to focus on treatment when you don’t have access to the right care or you’re trying to deal with enormous medical costs. Thankfully, this guide explores how to find help with medical bills with these ideas and more:
- Negotiate your hospital bill
- Reach out to charities that help with hospital bills
- Find out how crowdfunding can reduce medical debt
- Learn about government assistance programs
Options for medical bill assistance when you’re uninsured
Over 12% of adults who work lack health insurance, according to a study by the Commonwealth Fund’s ACA Tracking Survey. It can be understandably distressing trying to figure out how to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses—but it is important to understand all of your options and to get financial assistance for medical bills as soon as possible.
Your first order of business is to check Healthcare.gov to see if your state has expanded Medicaid. If it hasn’t, call your state Medicaid office to find out if you’re still eligible for some kind of help paying medical bills. You might also consider using a patient advocacy service that may be able to help you understand how to pay medical bills without insurance. These services can also help you understand your expenses, negotiate the bills on your behalf, and offer assistance with medical bills for costs you can’t cover on your own.
These tips will help you pay for medical bills
It’s possible to get financial help with medical bills and stay out of debt, even with large medical expenses. The below six options can help you get rid of debt and put you on the path to financial relief.
1. Ask your doctor for resources
One of your rights as a patient is to discuss the financial aspects of your treatment. Bringing up finances and billing might actually encourage your doctor to suggest more affordable alternatives based on your budget and insurance coverage. Doctors and their assistants understand healthcare bureaucracy well and may be able to steer you toward helpful resources—including hospital or health group administrators who can connect you with different forms of financial aid. They might even have tips on how to deal with your insurance company or how to find help with medical bills for low income families. Every doctor’s office policy is different, so it never hurts to ask.
2. Review all your bills for extra costs you shouldn’t pay
In general, it’s not uncommon for hospital bills to have errors. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure you aren’t paying for any services you didn’t receive. Some common mistakes include charging patients for a full day when they were discharged in the morning, charging patients for medications when they brought their own, and charging patients for supplies like gowns, gloves, and sheets, which should already be included in the daily room charge.
Before setting up a payment plan with your hospital or doctor’s office, double-check all charges. You may need to contact your provider directly to clear up any incorrect charges.
3. Negotiate your hospital bill
Some hospitals do help with medical bills by allowing you to negotiate or request a payment plan that will make monthly bills more manageable. Don’t be shy—be honest with your hospital’s billing department about what you can and can’t afford to pay. It’s best to share your monthly income and other debts with them, as this will help paint a larger picture of your financial situation.
4. Use crowdfunding to pay for medical expenses
Crowdfunding has become a popular way for thousands of individuals and families to pay for expensive medical treatments when insurance coverage falls short or is nonexistent. There are many benefits of using an online fundraiser to raise money for medical bills. Here are a few:
- An online fundraiser can provide you with the support of your friends, family, and community during a challenging time.
- The process of setting up your fundraiser is simple and straightforward. You can begin raising money within a matter of minutes.
- It’s simple to accept donations online and get paid quickly.
- With medical fundraising, you can reduce your medical debt and make sure your expenses are covered.
If you need any help along your fundraising journey, be sure to look for a crowdfunding website that offers 24/7 customer support. Another key feature to look for in a crowdfunding site is a blog or help center where you can learn medical fundraising tips or a medical crowdfunding guide so you can make the most of your fundraiser. Don’t forget to check out easy fundraising tips before getting started.
5. Apply for government assistance programs
Government resources can be especially useful to assist with medical bills if you meet the eligibility requirements. Here are some places to start:
- Call your state Medicare program to see if you qualify for state or federal help.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides financial help with medical bills for low-income parents who don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford private insurance coverage.
- The Health Resources and Service Administration has a number of programs that offer affordable care to those struggling with medical expenses.
6. Find charities that help pay medical bills
If you’re still unsure on how to get help with medical bills, there are nonprofit organizations devoted to helping people with specific medical conditions. Take a look at a list of health charities and nonprofits to see if any apply to you. These organizations can be especially helpful if you have a chronic condition that requires ongoing assistance.
Still don’t know how to pay medical bills? We want to help
Thousands of people turn to GoFundMe every day to raise the funds they need. Whether you need help paying medical bills right now or you’re anticipating expensive treatments in the future, GoFundMe can help ease that financial burden. Are you ready to start a new fundraiser to pay for medical bills? Please sign up to create your medical fundraiser today.