In the United States, planning for potential medical expenses can be tough. Even if you have insurance, you may not have the funds to pay for the costs in full. This could lead to years of unpaid medical debt. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. While medical costs can be stressful, there are ways to ease the burden and make your financial life more manageable. So, let’s take a look at a few different ways to manage your medical expenses effectively.
Choose the Right Health Insurance Plan
Most young people buy an “emergency” health insurance plan that only provides coverage for the worst-case scenario. Though this may work when you’re in your twenties, it is not a good idea as you reach middle age. As you get older, you’ll likely need to visit the doctor more often. This means that a low-premium, high-deductible plan won’t be the best option for you. Instead, opt for a plan that actually helps you pay for your medical costs, even if it does require higher monthly premiums.
Open a Health Savings Account
Some health insurance plans incorporate a health savings account (HSA) to help pay for your treatments. In essence, an HSA allows you to automatically deposit a small amount of your paycheck into a special savings account that accrues interest over time. This account is specifically designed to pay for medical expenses. So, when you have a medical bill in hand, you can simply withdraw funds for your HSA to help pay for it.
Negotiate a Payment Plan
Many doctors, hospitals, and health clinics will allow you to negotiate a payment plan. This gives you the ability to spread your payments out over a set period of time. Not only does this give you more breathing room, but it also reduces the likelihood that the healthcare provider will need to send the debt to collections. When you have debt sent to collections, it can have a huge impact on your credit score. Additionally, while medical debt does not accrue interest, it can (and will) accrue interest once a collection agency buys off the debt.
Opt for Effective Treatments
This may sound like a no-brainer, but many people try to avoid high medical costs by choosing low-cost, over-the-counter treatments. While these may be effective in some cases, they don’t always work. For example, if you want to treat your bunions, you may opt for bunion correctors. Unfortunately, these don’t really fix anything. As a result, you’ll have to pay for the bunion correctors and another treatment to actually treat your condition. Rather than having the extra cost, go straight to a professional at Northwest Surgery Center to treat the issue correctly the first time.
Do you want to learn even more ways to save money? Are you looking for sensible financial advice to reduce debt and grow your wealth? Finally, do you want additional guidance on navigating medical expenses? If so, be sure to check out other posts on I Am 1 Percent today!