Seeking medical care during Covid-19 seems to be intimidating especially if you are out of work. You have already been dipping into savings to stay afloat. When it comes to taking medical treatment, you cannot let it go because this is a matter of your life. You may not be flinging from medical bills if you do not have other debts, but the outbreak of the pandemic has turned the upside down.
You have a lot of money to pay back, and there is no cash coming in. Even though debt consolidation loans for bad credit are a solution, you will still have a large debt to pay off. Along with monthly instalments of such loans, it can be beyond your affordability to pay down your medical bills outright when you are out of work.
Even though you have had a significant amount of money in your savings, it will seem little to bear all these expenses. There are some ways to manage your medical bills, but before that, you need to understand what if you do not pay them.
Your healthcare provider after a given period (the time length usually varies from provider to provider) will provide handbills to a collection agency. It will keep haunting you by text, emails and phone calls until you settle the full dues and it will ding your credit score that continues to show up on your report for seven years. It means you cannot ignore unpaid medical bills.
Ignoring them will likely result in a lawsuit against you. Here is what you should do instead:
Do not shy negotiating
Instead of relying on what is mentioned in the bill, you should double sure that you are not being charged twice for the same treatment and there are no unnecessary charges added in. If you have not sorted out with your insurance company, talk to your healthcare provider not to send the bill to the collection agency. Request them to allow you to have a couple of days more to settle all the dues.
- If they have already handed the bills to the collection agency and you have a hard time to pay off the bill due to any reasons, try to seek affordable payment options. Ask them for a zero-interest payment plan.
- If any of your treatment does not come in coverage, ask your healthcare provider if they can offer you some discounts. However, note that all these options are ideal only if you have some money to pay down your medical bills.
- Some people are living off meagre savings that is enough to get by. If you are out of work and do not have a passive income source, you should contact your collection agency and ask them not to contact you again, and you will call them back as you are back on your feet.
Get help from your employer
Collection agencies will not sit back as you have told them about your real financial picture. They will not wait for your phone call. They can put the process on hold for a limited time until you land a new job. After you find a job, you can ask your employer to do you a favour.
You can show a copy of your credit report with outstanding bills. Ask your employer if they can give you a salary in advance. Your employer will likely help you, but since it increases the risk on the part of the employer, they will probably ask you to sign the agreement, so you do not run away after getting money.
Low-income patients can qualify for a reduced bill
Financial assistance is always out there if you are struggling to pay your medical bills if you are under a low-income group. Suppose your healthcare facility is registered as a non-profit organisation. In that case, it can allow you to avail yourself of discounts provided you submit enough documents to prove that your income is low.
Even if it is not registered as an NPO, it may have enrolled in one of such programmes. This kind of financial assistance means you can have the whole of your medical bill paid off outright.
Bankruptcy as a last resort
Yes, you have read right. You can have your medical bills discharged through bankruptcy. However, financial experts suggest that it should not be taken casually. It will have a long-lasting impact on your credit file. It usually stays for more than six years, which means you will be having meagre chances of borrowing money at a lower interest rate.
Suppose you have decided that you should file a bankruptcy. Make sure that you are ready to face its repercussions down the line. It is always suggested that you should consult a financial expert to know if it is a good idea to file bankruptcy.
When you have very little money, it can be hard to discharge medical bills, but those mentioned above are some of the ways to help you stay afloat during the financial crisis. Do not forget to look into medical benefits offered by government during the pandemic crisis. If you are eligible for those benefits, you can get relief from your medical bills.