Medical bills can be problematic for many people, especially when those bills are the result of an emergency. However, for many, the bills from past doctor visits or procedures still linger. Even if you want to pay them off it may not be possible to do so right away and debt can put an intolerable amount of stress on a person. Luckily there are some things you can do to manage your medical bills – even if you’re on a tight budget.
- Research the cost of a procedure before getting it. You may need a procedure you can’t afford, but knowing how to talk to your doctor or provider about expenses is essential.
- Get quotes from different doctors and specialists whenever possible. If you know you have to have a procedure done and it doesn’t need to be done immediately – it isn’t life threatening or causing you pain – you can actually check with different providers to see what the procedure will cost. In many cases you could end up paying considerably less if you check around. It might sound strange but prices for certain procedures aren’t set in stone.
- Talk with your doctor if you are currently uninsured. In many cases your doctor will work with you to make a payment plan that works for you. The same goes for many hospitals. Even if you have to pay a large bill over the course of a year it is a lot better for doctors and hospitals to work with you than simply never get their money at all – something that happens a lot more than you would think.
- Use technology to keep you on track with payments. Set up an auto-payment for your doctor or hospital or have your smart phone or e-mail program notify you that you have a bill coming up in a few days. That way you’ll have time to transfer money, check account statements or credit card bills to see where you should put the charge.
- Contact your insurance company. They may be able to work with your health care provider to reduce payments.