Investing in traditional health insurance isn’t the only way to save yourself some money on healthcare expenses. With a little research and some foresight, you could save your family thousands a year without sacrificing the quality of care that you receive. Here is a look at a few unique financing options and some tips for reducing your medical bills.
Contact the Hospital Directly
The first bill that you receive from the hospital is nothing more than an initial offer, and that amount could be negotiable. Most major hospitals have their own financing departments for patients who have no insurance or inadequate insurance. Your hospital might have a flexible payment plan or offer discounts if you pay early.
Apply for Financial Assistance
If the hospital that you are going to is a non-profit institution, then you might want to ask if they have any programs for low income visitors. The worst that can happen is you are completely turned down for the program. In some cases, you might be offered partial financial assistance for ongoing therapy or your medications.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
An HSA is a type of savings account that allows you to add funds without any state or federal taxes being taken out. When it comes time to visit your doctor or schedule a procedure, you can use those funds to pay with instead. You can even use these funds to pay for dental visits—if you’re extra careful with your teeth, an HSA may effectively replace dental insurance. These accounts are just like most other investment accounts, and that means the funds will continue to roll over every year if they aren’t spent. If your business offers HSA benefits, they may even match your funds as you add them to the account.
Healthcare Credit Cards
For routine care like annual dental work, you might want to use a healthcare credit card. Unlike most traditional lines of credit, these credit cards have extremely low interest rates. As long as you pay them off in a certain amount of time, you most likely won’t need to pay any interest at all. Some companies also offer healthcare credit cards specifically to those who have bad credit.
When it comes to your health, prevention is always the best tactic. Staying at a healthy weight, eating nutritious foods, and exercising regularly will reduce your risk of countless medical conditions. You should also schedule regular checkups with your doctor, dentist, and optometrist to catch any major problems early on. Those checkups should be thought of as an investment in your finances and health.
Medical bills can quickly spiral out of control if you aren’t careful, and that is why you should start considering your payment options before a major health problem occurs. Planning ahead will help you avoid skyrocketing bills, debt collection calls, and blemishes on your credit report.