Dealing with health bills and making your own health decisions

Dealing with health bills when you don’t have health insurance is a hot topic in the United States. There is great concern for anyone who goes without coverage. However, what many of us don’t realize is that despite being covered by health insurance plans, we’re still paying too much for our healthcare needs. In addition to paying high costs for a chosen plan, we are also told what doctors we can see and what procedures we can have done. In reality, most people want to make their own health decisions and manage care on their terms. A digital health platform that helps with non-emergency care and offers affordable direct pay could be the solution we need. 

Take care of yourself, take control of medical expenses

One of the easiest ways to take charge of healthcare costs is to start by not incurring them in the first place. We need to adopt smarter lifestyle choices:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t take drugs
  • Don’t text while driving
  • Avoid risky hobbies
  • Minimize alcohol intake
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy by minimizing high fat foods and consuming more fruits and vegetables

Dealing with health bills when you don’t have health insurance

Non-emergency care:

Take time and shop around. Most physicians, specialists, urgent care and outpatient clinics offer affordable healthcare. Therefore, we can feel comfortable asking for the cost of tests and treatments in advance. We can also request reduced rates and negotiate healthcare pricing. Pay what you can – do NOT use regular credit cards. 

https://www.thebalance.com/paying-medical-bills-with-no-health-insurance-2385907

https://www.moneyunder30.com/paying-medical-bills-you-cant-afford

When it comes to healthcare – knowledge is king! We need to do our homework. It’s important to get an idea of costs before seeing a physician. Be sure to find out what is involved with the test or treatment that is being performed.

Other options for dealing with health bills

Consider: 

  • Healthcare sharing ministries
  • Medical tourism  
  • Crowd-funding

What to look for AFTER emergency care:

  • Billing errors
  • Up-coding
  • Unbundling of services
  • Duplicate billing
  • Mismatched coding 

https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/debt/articles/how-to-get-help-paying-medical-bills

Also consider: 

  • Setting up a monthly payment plan
  • Seeking a billing advocate
  • Asking hospital (if non-profit) for financial assistance
  • Government and State assistance programs
  • Personal loan
  • Cashing in a life insurance policy
  • Health credit line
  • Crowd-funding

https://www.goodrx.com/blog/what-to-do-when-you-cant-afford-your-medical-bill/

Finally, don’t ignore medical bills. Failure to make an effort to pay can result in an account being turned over to a collection agency. As a result, this may cause credit issues.