Ignorance About Health Bills And Unplanned Payments Can Lead To Debt
High medical bills as it is can be very worrying and if you do not have a proper plan to pay it then you will surely fall into the debt trap. It is therefore not only important to know about the consequences and impacts of high medical bills and its strain but it is also required to know how you can face this acute problem and manage your medical bills easily and effectively.
There are several ways to fund it and there are several sources from where you can get a financial relief. Since all medical expense is costly, every year millions of people face the pressure of it. There are even a few who avoid medical treatment fearing the high medical bills. Therefore, there is a clear relation between medical bills and debt each affecting the other in either ways.
Regardless of being insured or non-insured, all face the heat of medical bills and seek ways to find immediate relief by getting rid of the dues as fast as possible. This is not easy as you will need to afford the basic needs of life at the same time. With the mounting pressure and the medical bills, there will be an impact on your family budget for sure leaving you overwhelmed. Therefore, getting rid of it and not fall into debt should be your prime concern.
Know the consequences
First, you should know about the consequences of not taking your medical bills seriously. There are several threatening financial implications of the medical bills such as:
- It will raise your out of pocket expenses when the billing cycles become a burden to you
- It will result in delaying in payment
- You will have to make unwanted sacrifices in a few areas of your lifestyle and family expenditure
- Your credit score will get affected reducing your credibility
- You will experience several other psychological and physical effects when medical debts start creeping in.
It will adversely affect almost all financial aspects in your life. It will affect in your rent payment or mortgage bills, insurance premium and foreclosure, dental visits and further medical treatments. You will not be able to make any planned big purchase and will have to stick to the basic and essential needs of life.
Need for healthcare
You cannot avoid healthcare needs that are usually of two types, short term and long term.
- Short term healthcare needs include illnesses requiring medication, tests and surgeries. Few of these treatments can be completed in a single visit such as a specific dental treatment.
- Long term treatments will require extensive care and attention after the primary treatment from different doctors, physiotherapists and day care facilities. These types of ailments include cancer, diabetes, and heart problems.
In both the cases you will have to bear with the medical cost and the amount of it will largely depend on the type of treatment, doctors involved and several other factors.
You are not alone
When you face such a situation when you find yourself struggling with your medical bills you must feel disheartened or at a loss. You are not alone out there because everyone is vulnerable whether insured or uninsured. There are lots of reports available which shows that:
- One in every five people within the middle age group having health insurance faces problems in paying their medical bills.
- Insurance can protect to some extent it does not take care of all aspects of costly medical bills.
- People having employer coverage along with other insurances also face similar consequences just like any uninsured.
- High medical bills have had a huge impact on the lives of more than sixty percent people who have declared bankrupt and more than 70% of this number had medical insurance of some kind or the other.
Insurance however can help you to cope up with the medical bills by a considerable extent. It is found after surveying different people that the impact was even severe when people have to deal with the out of pocket expenses. Therefore, if the insured faces so much, it is natural that the uninsured will live their lives from paycheck to paycheck.
Get a relief
To avoid people facing problems with medical bills from falling into the unavoidable debt trap, there are some useful government funded health insurance programs available now. These will help you be a considerable extent to cope up with the situation.
You can learn more about debt relief details by visiting different websites of the government that are dedicated for these government programs. This will help you to deal with the surmounting problem so that it does not affect your credit score.
Protect your credit score
High medical bills will affect your credit score if the balances are left unpaid. The insurance company will pay the major part or even the entire amount but if after their assessment a portion is due, you will have to make arrangements to pay it off.
You can take out a loan or avail debt reliefs but if you neglect then the health care provider will hand over your account to a collection agency. The collection agency, in turn, will report your non-payment of unpaid balance to various credit agencies that manage your credit score. It will lower your credit score by some considerable points.
The only way to protect your credit score and prevent you from falling into debt is to talk to your health provider directly and tell about your problems and future plans for payment. Pay them partially and promise to pay the rest within a specific time so that they do not send your account to the collection agencies.
This will help you to prevent the harassments and annoying calls from the debt collection agencies and the health care provider will get more as they will not have to pay commission to these agencies. Therefore, paying your medical bills on time and directly to the health care provider is beneficial for both. If you face problems, consult a debt advisor to protect your consumer rights and design a debt management plan.