There is no denying that the United States is in a state of emergency when it comes to health insurance. Many people struggle to find individual health insurance that is affordable. Many people in the United States have no coverage at all. Not having health insurance should not keep you from getting health care, you just need to learn how to pay medical bills without insurance. This guide can help.
Find Affordable Health Care
The first step in learning how to pay medical bills without insurance is to look for a health clinic that offers “sliding scale” payment options. There are healthcare clinics that will base their payment on your income. The payment for a visit can be as low as $25. These clinics are found throughout the United States.
Using a healthcare facility that offers a sliding scale payment option based on your income can help you to save money and get the care that you and your family deserve. In some areas, they even have dental clinics that offer the same type of payment option. Call your local social services office, even if you do not receive government assistance to learn more about sliding-scale clinics in your area.
Most every county in the United States has a “health department”. In your area, the health department may be called the Department of Health and Human Services or something similar. Health departments offer low-cost care for a wide range of medical care. For example, birth control can be found at your local health department, screenings for a range of illnesses, vaccines are free at the health department, and depending on where you live, there may be other free healthcare services at this type of medical center. Take advantage of any services that are available.
One of the best answers to how to pay medical bills without insurance is to keep your medical bill costs down as low as you can. Take advantage of any and every program that offers free or low-cost services.
How To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance For Hospital Stays
Hospital stays can be very expensive. When you do not have health insurance, the cost is astronomical. In this section, you will learn how to pay medical bills without insurance after a hospital stay.
First thing you do when you have been admitted to the hospital and your condition is stable, ask to speak to the hospital social worker. Every hospital has a social worker on staff to help patients that need assistance. Many people are not aware, but there is a little-known program called “hospital Medicaid”. You may not be eligible for regular Medicaid, but you may be eligible for hospital Medicaid. Medicaid planning with a social worker while you are in the hospital can help.
It is important that you speak to the social worker and make arrangements for billing while you are in the hospital. About 69% of people who file bankruptcy do so because of medical bills according to the US Bankruptcy Court. If you cannot manage to speak to the social worker, appoint a family member or trusted friend to do it on your behalf.
If the social worker notifies you that Medicaid is not an option, then talk to the hospital about a payment arrangement. If you can only afford $50 a month, they have to take it from you. Under the law, the hospital cannot take any further action against you if you are making payments, regardless of how small those payments are.
How To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance For Other Types of Care
When we think about medical bills we often think about things like exams, and paying for diagnostic testing done with lab equipment. What we do not think about is other health care outside of physical health care.
For example, what if you or a family member needs mental health services? What if you or a family member needs vision services? There is a wide umbrella of services that fall under the healthcare heading. Unfortunately, it can be a little more difficult to find help and manage these types of medical bills. However, there are programs that can help.
For example, for mental health bills, if you or your loved one is hospitalized for mental health problems, you can make the same type of arrangement with the facility that you would if it was a physical illness. There are community-based programs that you can also take advantage of that can help to keep the cost of mental health care down. In some communities, the same sliding scale payment programs apply to mental health care.
If you or a loved one need an eye exam, look for specials and discounts. A lot of eye exam places offer periodic discounts that can add up to tremendous savings. It can make getting eye care less expensive and the bills will be easier to manage.
How To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance For Regular Exams
Here is a secret that most people are not aware of. Many providers offer payment plans, and many providers have a different pricing scale for people without insurance. All you have to do is ask. For example, if you must go to the ear nose and throat specialist when you make the appointment, be sure to mention that you do not have medical insurance and ask if they offer a payment plan, financing, or participate in any of the credit programs.
Many providers will offer financing options to make getting the care that you need more affordable. Additionally, there is a discount for paying for services in cash, which can keep costs manageable. The point is you have to ask any medical professional if you plan on seeing what the payment options are. There is always some type of option, but typically, they do not offer it unless you ask.
How To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance for Medical Equipment
You may find yourself in a position where the doctor has ordered medical equipment for you or a loved one to help with treatment. For example, you have sleep apnea and the doctor has ordered a CPAP machine to treat the problem. You may instantly think “how will I be able to pay for that?”.
There are some ways you can afford medical equipment without health insurance. The first is to rent the equipment. You can usually rent medical equipment for a small fee that you pay weekly or monthly, depending on how long you will need the equipment. These rental plans for medical equipment can make it much more affordable to get the equipment you need.
Many medical equipment suppliers have developed payment programs for their clients because of the well-known issue of many people not having health insurance. Call different medical equipment suppliers to find the one that offers the best value for the equipment that you need.
Another option for paying for medical equipment without health insurance is to consider used equipment. Used equipment is usually readily available and much more affordable. In many cases, you can rent used equipment which can drive the cost even lower.
There are ways available that you can find to make getting the medical equipment you need more affordable. You will likely have to do some research, but in the end, it is well worth the effort.
How To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance By Comparing Your Options
When people are shopping for a car, they will visit several dealerships to get the best value. When people are grocery shopping, they will choose between a few different stores to find the best value. When people are shopping for a new home or anything else, they will compare costs before they make a decision. Yet, no one shops for the best price for medical care. We should.
There is a misconception about the cost of medical care. Many people believe that there is a set price scale that every provider follows. The fact is, prices can vary from provider to provider. Most of the time when a patient sets an appointment they never even ask “how much is the cost?” but they should. It is important to know what you are paying for before you agree to the services.
Would you have your roof redone without getting a few estimates to compare? Medical offices are small businesses. Dental offices are small businesses. Eye exam places are small businesses. They are all in competition with each other for your business. Unfortunately, medical care is not looked at as a business, but if you have a bill and do not pay it, medical care providers take a very business-like attitude towards that debt.
Shop around for healthcare providers and ask pointed questions about costs. For example, what is the initial cost? What is the cost of a follow-up visit? Are there any discounts available if one or more family members are seen? You should always know what you are getting into financially when you are choosing a healthcare provider.
Don’t ignore other possible alternatives either. For example, a chiropractic office provides a lot more than back problem care. Most chiropractors are less expensive than primary care providers. They can care for a wide range of health issues using alternative natural methods that are also less expensive than some of the treatments you will find at your family doctor’s office.
Shopping for health care can make it a lot easier to manage bills for healthcare. When you first start calling providers’ offices and asking about costs, you may find that the person you are speaking to is a little taken aback because very few people do it. However, it is far better to know what you are getting into upfront than worry about it after the fact.
How To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance Using Online Sources
Online medical care is readily available and can be very affordable. There are services online that charge less than $50 for a visit with an actual doctor who can call in medication to your local pharmacy for pick up. Paying upfront for medical care via an online service can help to reduce stress and worry about paying for medical care.
This can be a good option if you do not have underlying conditions and need treatment for minor illnesses like a cold, the flu, an ear infection, a UTI, and other illnesses. Typically, when you go to the online medical provider’s website, there will be a list of things that they can treat you and your family for. You will also find a list of medications that they can issue or refill for you. For example, if you take high blood pressure medication and do not want to pay the fee to see your regular doctor to get a refill, you can connect with a provider online that can call in the refill for you.
If you need diagnostic testing, you can use mail-in services for everything from colon cancer screening to cholesterol screening. It is a lot cheaper than going to the doctor’s office and it is actually more convenient. There are ways to get healthcare that is more affordable and that will generate fewer medical bills.
How people get healthcare is drastically changing in response to the lack of coverage and the skyrocketing costs. More people are looking for alternative ways and treatment options to get healthy and stay healthy. Online resources are an excellent option. Video chatting with a doctor and using direct-to-the-patient lab testing is the wave of the future of healthcare.
There are ways to keep costs down and to pay medical bills without insurance. Sometimes you have to get creative and bold, but it is your health and you deserve reliable healthcare like anyone else.