As the costs associated with healthcare continue to rise so does the risk of accumulating large (and unforeseen) medical debts. Over the years medical debts have soared and the sheer size of these debts can often lead to bankruptcy.
While it is difficult to avoid medical debts entirely, it is possible to reduce the risk of accumulating them in the first place via a number of different precautions:
- Make sure you are covered by insurance
With the state of healthcare as it is, everyone needs to make sure they are covered by some kind of healthcare insurance – whether it is from your employer or a private insurance (or both). Without insurance you will end up having to fund your own medical expenses, and that is almost always prohibitively expensive.
- Know your insurance cover
Assuming you do have some sort of medical insurance, you should be intimately acquainted with its details. That includes not only what is covered (and what isn’t) in terms of procedures, treatments and medication, but also which providers and pharmacists are in your network.
- Shop around when undergoing elective procedures
If you are undergoing an elective medical procedure (which in most cases won’t be covered by your insurance) be sure to shop around. The cost of elective procedures can vary quite a bit from one provider to the next, and in some cases ‘more expensive’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’. In short you will want to look not only at the cost, but also at the reputation, track record, and standards of the provider.
- Never pay medical expenses with a credit card
Because of how large medical expenses can be, putting them on a credit card is almost always a bad idea as odds are you won’t be able to pay them off immediately and the interest payments will be substantial. Instead of putting medical expenses on a credit card, many providers will be willing to let you work out a payment plan and pay in installments.
- Take steps to deal with medical debts before they spiral out of control
If you have already incurred medical debts, you should take steps to deal with them before they spiral out of control. That includes negotiating with healthcare providers, taking out a medical debt consolidation loan, and so on. The sooner you take steps to deal with your debts, the less likely it is that the interest will pile up to the point where you can’t afford to cover the minimum payments that would be required.
Aside from these measures, it would also be helpful to build up an emergency saving that you can dip into for any unforeseen medical expenses. Keep in mind that your emergency savings is unlikely to be large enough to cover all your medical treatments, but should be able to help you to pay for medications and some elective procedures if need be. With those savings as well as the measures outlined above, your risk of accumulating medical debts should be reduced significantly.
Article Submitted By Community Writer