Learning how to maintain a financial budget is an important skill to have in adulthood, though it’s one that many young adults are not taught. Combining this with the skyrocketing costs of things such as college education and healthcare can lead to financial struggles that are difficult to overcome. If you find yourself facing large medical bills, here are three steps to take to try to make the debt more manageable.
1. Seek Out Healthcare Funds
Some medical conditions have been legally shown to be caused by neglect on the part of corporations. Many of these corporations have been ordered to set aside money to help those who were harmed by their products. If you or a loved one suffers from one of these medical conditions, such as mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, look into funds such as asbestos trust funds to help pay for your medical care.
2. Negotiate Hospital Charges
When medical emergencies arise, people don’t have much choice in the healthcare they receive. Emergency room visits, hospital stays, and surgeries can become very expensive very quickly. Before you consider extreme financial measures, such as bankruptcy, talk to the hospital about your options. Be sure, first, that everything on your bill is accurate and reflects the medical services you actually received. After that, ask the hospital whether they have any charity services that can assist with your bills. Hospitals may also offer forgiveness of debt to those who qualify. When you’ve finally settled with the hospital on the amount you actually owe them, work with them to set up a payment plan that you can afford to pay from your regular income.
3. Borrow To Pay Medical Fees
If your medical debt is still high after all negotiation and assistance options have been exhausted, consider borrowing to pay off the debt. You should be able to find a loan option with considerably lower interest rates than using credit cards to pay your hospital bills. Some people may qualify for a personal loan that they can use to pay these bills. If that’s not an option, other things to consider are borrowing against your home equity, or borrowing from your 401(k) retirement account. Both of these options can have drawbacks, so be sure that you evaluate carefully which is the best for your situation.
If you’re faced with high medical bills costs, know that there are options available that can help you manage those bills.