FMedical debt never happens by choice. The cost for any treatment can cripple a family budget, but there are programs that ease the strain of dealing with medical debt.
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What if you have accumulated medical debt and have no way of paying it when it's due? People often feel ashamed of their medical debt, seeing it as their moral obligation to pay their bills and a personal failure that they can’t afford them. We’ll discuss some ways here to pay off medical debt but first understand what is medical debt.
What is Medical Debt ?
Medical debt refers to debt incurred by individuals due to health care costs and related expenses.
Medical debt is different from other forms of debt, because it is usually incurred unintentionally. People do not plan to fall ill or hurt themselves. Medical debt is often treated with more sympathy than other kinds of debt resulting in advice that people ought not try to convert it to credit card debt.
Ways to Pay Off Your Medical Debt
If you’re faced with medical debt you can’t pay, try these tips for reducing what you owe so you can minimize the effects of your bills on your finances, health and future.
• Payment plan
Many medical providers, including physicians, dentists and hospitals, can give you a payment plan for your bills. This is most common and simplest way to solve the your issue if you can’t afford the bill in one payment.
Ask if there are billing charges or any other fees associated with the payment plan, so you can break the bill into multiple payments according to your affordability.
• Medical credit cards
The next option is medical credit card. They’re generally for specific medical procedures, and many offices have applications on hand.
Many medical credit cards give you interest free period of six to 12 months. If you are able to pay your debt within that period then that’s great!!. But if not , you may hit with deferred interest rate that can make your debt more expensive.
Know what extra costs you’d face if you’re hit with deferred interest to fully understand whether a medical credit card makes sense for you.
• Negotiate your Bill
If you want to negotiate your bill, speak with the person who actually has the authority to lower your bills. Don’t wait too long and keep your bills in collection because it can damage your credit score.
If you have a low income or are experiencing a financial hardship – even if the hardship is due entirely to your medical bills – request hardship assistance.
• Get outside help
We at Absolute Debt Services provide services to get out of debt quicker than you think.
One thing that is important to know is that hospitals don’t charge interest on medical bills because the primary goal of debt consolidation is to lower your interest rate. Medical debt consolidation is only an option if you have already paid the bills with a credit card. In that case, it’s the same as credit card debt consolidation.
• Income-driven hardship plan
If you have low income and high medical bills, you may be eligible for an income-driven hardship plan.
Similar to a standard payment plan, an income-driven hardship plan can break up the total amount you owe into more manageable, regular payments. You may also be able to reduce the amount you owe. Talk with your provider to see if it offers such a plan.
You may have to apply for Medicaid before being eligible.
What is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a health insurance for low-income residents who can’t afford their medical care expenses. Qualification criteria vary by state, so you must contact your state Medicaid office to find out if you qualify. (Your child may be eligible for Medicaid even if you are not.) If you qualify, Medicaid can be used to pay for medical expenses you’ve already incurred, but only within a certain time frame, so apply as soon as possible after receiving a medical bill.