What To Do When You Can’t Afford Medical Insurance?

Medical insurance is something that everyone should ideally have. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the soaring rates. There are other options out there for those that can’t afford medical insurance. Here are a few of those options to consider.

What To Do When You Can’t Afford Medical Insurance
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Take out a loan

If you need treatment but aren’t insured, you can always take out a loan. You should however be careful as loans will charge interest on top of what you owe. There are different types of loans – each with their own perks. Emergency loans can generally offer you the money instantly and will pay out for people even with bad credit ratings. However, the interest will be high on these loans and they may only be able to pay out limited amounts. A standard loan from a company like Carpe may require a higher credit rating but could have lower interest attached.

Consider CareCredit

Another option could be to order a CareCredit card. This company offer interest free credit cards that can be used on all medical expenses including veterinary bills. This can help to pay for big medical costs in smaller installments. The only downside of using a CareCredit card is that you have to spend a minimum amount per year on the card, otherwise you get charged.

Open an FSA

A Health FSA (Flexible Savings Account) is a special savings accounts that can be used purely for medical costs. Your employer pays part of your regular salary into the account. You aren’t taxed on the money that is paid into the account. Health FSAs can be spent on any medical cost from treatment to general healthcare supplies like plasters and over-the-counter medicine. Some opticians even allow you to buy eye wear using these accounts. A Health FSA can be spent on the whole family and unlike regular FSAs, the money put into this account rolls over to the next year, although you do have a limit as to how much money you can store in an FSA.

Join clubs that offer healthcare discounts

There are various clubs that can provide you with healthcare discounts. Some gyms for example may be able to offer a discount as an incentive. Your local Farm Bureau may also provide a healthcare discount – whilst these groups are primarily set up for farmers, you don’t have to be a farmer to join them. You will have to pay a membership fee to these clubs, so make sure that this is worth the discounts and that there are other incentives to being a member other than a medical discount.

What To Do When You Can’t Afford Medical Insurance
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Compare treatment prices

Many people will stick their local clinic when looking for healthcare. However, there could be hospitals out there that offer treatment far cheaper. Health companies such as Our Urgent Care services specialize in cheap and quick healthcare. Not everyone will have such a clinic nearby, but finding one could save huge costs. You should also consider the medication that you’re using as it’s possible that there could be a cheaper solution to this out there too. Many people will use big brands when it comes to store-bought medicine, but generic brands could be just as effective and cheaper.

Learn to negotiate

You can sometimes negotiate costs with a doctor or medical billing staff. A clinic may be able to offer you a discount or at the very least find some way of paying for the treatment in smaller installments. Many people can be shy about speaking up but medical staff are used to negotiating, so you shouldn’t feel anxious about it. Talking to the medical billing staff might be easier than a physician for some people. You can’t negotiate costs once the treatment has been done, however if you realize that there has been a mistake in your bill, which can often be the case, you should inquire about this and get the bill lowered.

Pay in advance

One tactic to use when negotiating is to ask to pay in advance. Quite often, clinics will be willing to pay a discount to those that can pay months beforehand, largely because it reduces the chance of a cancellation. This of course won’t help you in an emergency, however it could be a huge help when paying for pre-booked surgery or an appointment in advance.

Use an advocate

Healthcare advocate services like the Patient Advocate Foundation can be hired to do the negotiation for you. Advocates specialize in helping those in need that can’t otherwise afford treatment. They do charge a small fee, but their negotiating could help you save enough money to more than make up for this. You may have to be of a certain low income level in order to use an advocate – most advocates will not take on people who can pay and are just looking for a discount.

Get insured – but raise your deductibles

Health insurance shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. Yes, you may not be able to pay standard ates, but by raising your deductible you may be able to get a much cheaper insurance rate within your budget. A deductible is the amount that you’re willing to pay before an insurance company steps in. If rarely need to see a doctor, upping your deductible could be worthwhile, allowing you to pay low insurance rates. Just make sure that you have the means to pay for this deductible if you ever do need to make a claim. Many people use an FSA in conjunction with health insurance using the FSA to pay off their deductible.

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