It’s an undeniable fact of life that we will all come across unexpected and potentially even devastating emergencies in our lifetime. Whether it’s a broken down household appliance, or a medical emergency, we all like to think we’d be prepared, but when things don’t go quite according to plan we can often find ourselves stranded. So what happens when you do fall seriously ill or find yourself with a dental emergency that requires expensive care? Gaining an expensive medical bill that you can’t afford to pay can be a stressful, emotional situation to find yourself in, but we’re here to help. Here, we’ve gathered five potential solutions to help you cope with and pay off emergency medical bills.
When you find yourself in the devastating situation of having an expensive medical bill to cover, a payday loan could provide a solution. Payday loans are emergency financial solutions designed to be paid off over a short period of time, when compared to a traditional bank loan. The amount of time you will have to repay the loan will be dependent on each individual lender. When you apply for payday loan, your contract with the payday loan lender will differ depending on their terms, so it’s important to thoroughly research the loan you plan on taking out to fully understand the terms and conditions. It is important to only borrow from reliable and trusted payday lenders who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and to only use this option when facing a financial emergency, such as an unexpected medical bill.
If you can’t afford to pay your medical bill at once, then you may find that your medical provider will allow you to pay back the bill in instalments. Setting up a payment plan can be a viable solution for those still in work with a regular income, so if you’re in a position in which you can afford to do this, it’s worth asking! After all, it never hurts to enquire. If they do offer payment plans, make sure that you have the payment agreements in writing, and that both you, and the medical provider have a copy of this plan. This will prevent any confusion in the future. If you have trouble making a payment at any time, contact your medical provider – they may be willing to come to an agreement.
Negotiate and Shop Around
If you have the time, which may not be likely if the situation is an emergency, it’s worth ‘shopping around’. Take a look at different medical providers, surgeons, professionals and more. Some may charge more than others, and some may have payment plans where others don’t. If you haven’t had the time to shop around in the case of emergency treatments, and can afford to pay some of the bill but not all of it, negotiate with your provider! You may be able to settle the bill for less than originally stated, or have a form of payment plan put in place where there may not have been that option. Whatever you negotiate, make sure that the outcome is settled and put into writing.
Ask For Help
While you may not want to ask for help, there is no shame whatsoever in doing so. There are plenty of companies, institutions, charities and more that are willing to offer financial aid to those in need of it. If you truly are on a low income, or if your medical bill is related to a certain illness, you may be able to find the aid you need to pay off some, if not all of your medical bill. The hospital itself should also have a financial assistance policy that you’ll need to read through – after all, if you’re eligible, it’s well worth investigating to reduce your bill. In some cases, crowdfunding may also work, but try not to rely solely on this unless you’re sure that it will prove fruitful.
Consider A Medical Credit Card
If you truly can’t afford to pay for any procedures that you have had, or will definitely need in the near future, the hospital, doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional you are in contact with regarding the treatment may suggest applying for financing through a specialist company. Many of these companies will often offer interest-free credit for a period of 12-18 months depending on the company you choose, and so if you are certain that you can pay off the debt in that time, it may be worth looking into applying for a medical credit card. However, make sure you do your research! If there’s a chance you won’t be able to cover the debt in the interest-free period, this may not be the appropriate option as the interest rates can be difficult to keep up with.
We hope these five options have given you a place to start with paying off your unexpected medical bills. Whether you need a payment plan, or need to take out a payday loan, help really is available for those in need of it.
Photo by Chris Yarzab