Why it’s so Important to Pay Medical Bills on Time

Okay, let me be straight with you. It is radically important that you pay all of your bills on time. Medical bills fall into one of those categories of bills though that you must pay on time and must repay period. The other category is your housing – your mortgage or rent.

Why Pay Your Medical Bills on Time

If you do not repay your medical bills, a hospital can actually refuse you treatment. As horrible as that sounds, you could get denied admission, even to the emergency room.

Ideally, your insurance pays for the medical treatment. You should only need to pay your co-pay when you visit the doctor, specialist, hospital, physical therapist, etc. Sometimes though, if you have to go out of network for treatment, you will have additional costs.

The other awful scenario is if you do not have medical insurance. Right away, you know that you will need to pay for every penny on your own.

Medical bills can be huge. Even small items, like a dental visit for a root canal, can top $1,000. If you do not have medical insurance, chances are you do not have $1,000 or more sitting in the bank to pay it. You might need to apply for loans for medical treatment. Since you probably aren’t an aging grandpa looking to amuse yourself in TSA lines, you need a plan for the medical bills because elective surgery isn’t covered by most insurance.

How to Pay Your Medical Bills On Time

What? You did not plan to become a medical finance expert? Well, welcome to the 21st century where four to six types of health insurance plans exist, you can open a flexible health savings account (FHSA) to pay for certain items and the cost of medical care keeps skyrocketing. Without health insurance and an FHSA, you need medical bill loans unless you are independently wealthy.

Taking out a loan for medical bills proves way smarter than letting the bills slide. According to Loanry, as of 2012, 30 percent of non-elderly US adults had past-due medical bills.

Start before you need to get treatment for anything. That means adhere to preventive care steps like healthy diet and regular exercise, monthly breast self-exams if you are female, and regular wellness checkups.

Let’s say you do become ill though or you are injured in an accident. You need treatment at a hospital or out patient facility.

Rather than have your bills go unpaid which ruins your credit, you can reduce the medical bills and obtain help paying them off. Your credit affects your ability to get a job, take out a mortgage, obtain a car loan and more.

Reducing and Paying Medical Bills

After you have been treated and you obtain your first bill, you may experience shock at its size. Let’s look at some ways to reduce the bills, then pay them off.

Have an Advocate Check for Errors

Medical billing advocates say they find errors on 80 percent of the claims they examine. A NerdWallet analysis revealed errors on 49 percent of Medicare claims. Those clerical errors result in overcharges. A medical billing advocate examines medical bills for errors, then advocates for the patient to lower the costs. They typically advocate for patients with extremely high medical bills after a long treatment time.

You can do this same thing for every bill you receive. Simply review the bill when you receive it. Check to make sure that you have been charge the correct amount. If the charges do not reflect the appropriate amount for a medical service, you should phone them and have it corrected. You will need to have a copy of your medical records and your insurance company’s explanation of benefits.

Seek Preventative Care

Use every preventative care program or resource available to you to maintain your health. Visit the doctor as soon as you feel ill. Small health issues can grow quickly into serious conditions. Accept it as soon as your doctor suggests medicine or a procedure that could hold off the development of a larger issue.

Opt for Generic and Test Drugs

Choose the generic version of drugs. These typically cost less than branded drugs. If an over-the-counter version exists, you can try it, too, to save money. Also, inquire about test medications. You may be able to enter a drug trial that lets you obtain free or extremely low cost medications. This can cut down on or completely eradicate one of the largest medical bills you could incur.

Open a Health Savings Account

If you do not already have a health savings account, open an account. You can auto-deposit funds into it on a monthly basis as a pre-tax withdrawal. You can also invest the money in the account so it grows. If you start saving now, by the time a medical emergency rolls around, you have a ready made store of funds.

Persistently Haggle the Medical Bills Down in Price

Find out what the cheapest charges are for the medical service you received. Typically, that is the cost provided to those with insurance. Even if you do not have insurance, you can haggle your bill down in cost. Negotiate with your hospital or doctor’s office, or even your health insurer to reduce the costs. Negotiate with the medical billing manager. They are capable of fixing bill errors or negotiating a discount. Try using the following to document your request for a discounted bill:

  • phone calls,
  • faxes,
  • emails,
  • letter.

When the doctor or hospital agrees to a lower rate, get a copy of the agreement in writing.

Crowdfunding to Pay Medical Bills

Sure, you’ve seen such things listed on crowdfunding sites like GiveForward. You can do this, too. There’s no reason you can’t ask for help. Do it right though. You need to be able to prove you really do have the medical bill. Most people only donate to the causes they find that are genuine. Crowdfunding, the process of gathering many donations from a large group of people in support of a need or cause, can help you to pay the medical bill quickly. Most websites that let you crowdfund charge a small percentage for administration fees. Some let you access funds even if you do not raise your goal amount, others let you have partial funds. Look for crowdfunding platforms with a strong social media presence that share campaigns virally. Also, share it to your own Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Apply for Assistance

Low income households or individuals experiencing financial hardship from a medical issue should apply for assistance. Many medical centers and hospitals provide assistance programs. Contact their help desk or billing office for information. The hospitals may be able to refer you to other assistance, such as charities that assist with your bills. This may include the local chapter of your Elks or Lions Club. If you attend church, inquire with your minister if the congregation provides charitable assistance for members. Also, check with your local government or state government for medical assistance programs.

Taking Out a Medical Loan

After exhausting all of those avenues of payment assistance, apply for a medical loan. A medical loan can help you pay for your needed treatments, so you do not hurt either your medical health or financial health. If you stop paying your medical bills, your doctors and hospital may stop providing you treatment. A health care loan can provide you with the funds to immediately pay the medical bills, so you can continue getting treatment.

Many reasons abound for taking out a medical loan. These include:

  • Consolidating your medical debt into a single, minimum monthly payment. You can probably land a lower interest rate, too.
  • You can avoid high interest rates. Medical loans often offer lower interest rates.
  • It lets you avoid trying to piecemeal the charges onto a number of credit cards. Those cards typically have high interest rates.
  • This method helps to improve your credit score because with every on time payment your credit score improves. That makes it easier to get loans in the future.
  • You avoid pop-up fees because medical loans provide extended details of the loan agreement. You will not experience hidden fees. Once you pay the upfront fees of the loan, you are done.

Medical loans are usually rather easy to obtain. They’re an unsecured loan that requires no collateral as security. The lender can require you to only spend the money on medical debt though.

Shopping for an Easy Medical Loan

No matter what, medical loans will never be as fun to shop for as blue jeans. But Loanry.com can make finding an easy medical loan better though. You can learn about the financial responsibility of taking out a loan before signing for one.

Loanry helps you compare various options so you can choose the product most likely to meet your needs. You’ll be able to compare interest rates easily, so you can determine how the cost of borrowing compares. You’ll also be able to compare other fees and charges. And you’ll be able to see which lenders requirements you may meet.

Rather than simply listing a plethora of financial lenders, Loanry provides you with a short form to complete. You provide very basic information and the website goes through the database of lenders and tries to find ones that typically make loans to individuals in the same financial circumstances as you.

The website’s form sends a soft hit instead of a hard hit to your credit report. It does not “ding” your credit to create its lender list. These ensures no harm comes to your credit score.

By submitting the short form, you obtain the list of most viable lenders. This also helps you protect your credit score. That’s because you only apply for loans you are apt to qualify for and obtain. Even though you have to submit a formal loan application to each of the lenders, since you only apply one loan app at a time, you are saving your credit from a multitude of hard “dings.” You will not need to typically submit as many loan applications since you have already vetted the loan possibilities.

Another advantage to Loanry is that many companies may provide high-speed approval. They also may deposit funds directly to your bank account.

You can obtain a loan to cover treatment for any kind of illness or ailment. This includes cosmetic surgery, dental work, emergency care, eye care, and long-term treatment.

Benefits of Medical Loans

You may not think of it as a benefit to take out a loan, but there are many reasons to want to obtain a loan. Think of it this way:

  • You get treated at your choice of hospital. Your insurance may limit you to in-network, but a medical loan never will.
  • The loan length, or tenure, is pretty flexible. You can make monthly payments to repay it in monthly installments with up to 24 months to pay it off.
  • Medical loans have no prepayment penalties. You can prepay the loan payments. This reduces the amount of interest you must pay.
  • You do not need collateral. These loans are unsecured.
  • They are easier to qualify for than a conventional loan.
  • They require truly minimal documentation. Typically, you only need to submit details of your treatment and your medical history.
  • There are medical loans specifically designed for those with bad credit or no credit.

Regardless of the reasons you need to take out a medical loan, you can do so with good, bad or no credit. A medical loan lets you obtain the medical treatment that you need, when you need it. Make it your last option though, after exhausting other avenues of bill negotiation and crowdfunding.

Medical Bills in Collections

Ethically, you should pay every bill as soon as possible and definitely by the due date. However, sometimes, life takes over and that is not possible. When you fall ill or get hurt in an accident, you may not be able to work, therefore you may get behind on the medical bills, along with the rest of them. Sometimes, these get sent to collections. At this point, you may feel that things have grown hopeless and ask yourself,
“Should I pay a medical bill in collections?”

Important Considerations

FICO changed its rules about how medical debt affects your credit score and how it appears on your credit report, making things better for consumers. The age of your debt also factors into your payment decision.

FICOs new rules help you, the consumer. It benefits you to pay off a medical debt that has gone into collections because FICO then disregards the collection activity in calculation of your FICO score. That means it does not show up as having gone to collections to future potential lenders.

As long as your potential lender uses FICO 9, you will benefit from paying off the medical bill that went into collections. While not every lending institution has begun using this new calculation, FICO is moving more institutions to it.

FICO will still use the late payments to the original creditor or service provider. The good news is that they often do not report to the credit reporting agencies. Instead, they send things to collections and that agency reports to the agency. That means you can completely repair the negative damage the late medical debt caused by paying it.

Before you decide whether to let the debt go or pay it or negotiate it, ask yourself these meaningful questions:


  • Did the original creditor report to the credit bureaus?
  • What is the age of the debt?
  • What is the statute of limitations?
  • Could you settle the medical debt?

Obtain copies of all three of your credit reports. You can do this once per year for free by visiting Annual Credit Report, the site authorized by federal law to provide one free copy of each credit bureau’s report to the consumer each year.

Examine each of the reports to find out if the medical provider reported directly to the credit bureau or waited to have just the collections agency do so. Whether you have one negative or two to deal with weighs in your decision. You will obtain a better result if only the collections agency reported.

Whether the credit report shows the original debt or a collections agency debt, it will remain on your account for seven years. The nearer a debt to the seven year point, the less net benefit you receive from paying off the account. It would disappear anyway.

The seven year report limit is not the same thing as the statute of limitations in your state. The statute of limitations refers to the time limit the law sets for your legal responsibility to pay the debt.

Here’s the deal: Legally, you get no benefit out of paying off a medical or other type of debt that has gone past the statute of limitations. When it comes to your credit score though, it can help you. If the statute of limitations is shorter than seven years, there’s no real benefit. And if it’s longer than seven years, you face legal liability and could be sued.

If the total cost of the medical costs has you basically hyperventilating, take a deep breath and negotiate. You might be able to settle the bill for a fraction of the cost. Once upon a time, settling also created a negative comment on your credit report, but not with the new FICO 9 rules.

Begin by offering the collection agency one third of the medical balance. Negotiate from there. If the amount they forgive exceeds $600, it counts as income and you will receive a 1099. You will need to include this on your state and federal income taxes.

Since the older debts will fall off of the credit report first, you should prioritize repaying your newest credit lines and loans first. Those show up on your credit report the longest.

The Dreaded Lawsuit

If a creditor takes legal action and sues you, breathe. It is not the end of the world. Go to court when the summons says to do so. Explain why you have not paid the bill and why you simply need time and a payment plan. Make payment arrangements with them.

Let the court know what your current income is and what you can afford to pay each month. Let the judge know you want to pay, but need to make reasonable monthly payments rather than a lump sum. The great thing about a court payment plan is it protects you. Once the court orders you to pay in a specific manner, the collections agency cannot demand anything else. They cannot come back a month later and harass you and demand full payment all at once. It actually benefits you to go to court and set up a payment plan.

Which to Pay First: Credit Cards or Medical Bills?

When money grows really tight you start prioritizing. Your mortgage or rent obviously takes the highest priority. You have to have a roof over your head.

After that, you probably place your car payment, if you have one. You need to be able to commute to work.

Then comes the tough decision – is the third priority paying your credit cards or your medical bills?

Okay, I won’t snark about how you already have a budget and a backup budget in place. You are here and you are reading this. That puts you in the category of people who care if they pay their debts. You are one of the folks who hasn’t given up on paying your bills off – if not on time completely.

Hey. The struggle is real and most of us go through it at least once in life. You need to create a plan to pay it all off. Prioritizing is part of that.

The good news is that both credit cards and medical bills qualify as unsecured debt. That means you can’t lose collateral for not paying them. That can happen if you do not pay your mortgage or car loan. Typically, you must go six months without a payment before it goes to collections. It is much better if you do not wait that long though.

When it comes to you credit score, late credit card payments will hurt you worse. That is because credit cards report every month to the credit reporting agencies. Medical bills don’t get reported to the credit bureaus while they remain with the medical treatment center. Only when they go to a collection agency do medical bills get reported.

The other huge reason to prioritize the credit card debts is your credit utilization score. Credit utilization calculates your credit usage vs. your available credit. The less credit you use out of what is available, the better your score. Since medical bills don’t factor into credit utilization, it is better to be late with a medical bill payment than a credit card payment.

As discussed, you have other options to get help with medical bills, such as financing, medical credit cards, bill negotiation, help from charities and non-profit agencies, etc. This is not true of credit cards, although you can consolidate both kinds of debt.

In Conclusion: Make a Plan and Stick to It

You can pay off all your bills. You can do it. It will take time, budgeting, hard work and lots of telephone time to negotiate. You will end up with a good credit score and you’ll be able to get loans and credit cards when you need them. You have to take a deep breath and start making a plan to get out from under your debt. Start at Budgetry.com. Visit Loanry.com to find an appropriate medical loan, if needed. You can pay it all off and benefit from a strong credit score and a debt-free life.

Everything You Need to Know to Save Money on Medical Bills

In 2012, about 30 percent of non-elderly adults in the United States had an outstanding, past-due medical bill. Such statistics are not only an indication of the rising cost of healthcare but also show the portion of the American population that has problems with medical bills and debt. Today, even with insurance coverage, there are several costs that consumers need to pay when they seek medical care. While there are many ways to pay medical bills, it is important to ensure that the option you choose will not surprise your budget either in the short or long run. There are a few things you need to know if you are to save money on medical bills without compromising on the quality of health care.

Medical debt can be a barrier to a consumer’s financial health, affect their ability to build credit, and make it difficult for them to get the health care they need. Whether a consumer is looking to take out health loans or explore other options to pay their medical bills, it is necessary to ensure that they are informed. With the numerous lenders that offer medical loans today, financial education will go a long way in helping you make an informed and conscious decision. 

How to Save Money On Medical Bills

Healthcare expenses are unavoidable. With the ever-rising cost of medical care, it is necessary to identify ways to save money on medical bills. This will help you avoid the stress associated with looking for how to pay the medical bills.

Invest In Better Health Insurance

Although some people think that buying cheap health insurance is a way to keep costs down, this can cost you in many ways. The best thing to do is to invest in quality health insurance that will cover a wide range of treatments and medical emergencies. You should also read your policy and check with your insurer before getting treatment to ensure the terms have not changed.

Review Medical Bills Before Paying Them

This is one of the most overlooked ways to save money on medical bills. The staff working in the medical offices can make mistakes that will see you paying huge sums of money for services you did not receive. It is always advisable to take time to go through your medical bills and question any line items that do not look right.

Negotiate The Services Not Covered

There may be times when you are in need of a service that your insurance will not cover. Rather than resigning yourself to paying the cost in full, you should let your medical provider know that you will be paying for it out of pocket. The medical officer may offer you a reduced rate or arrange a low or no interest payment plan for you.

Do Not Let The Health Issue Escalate

With the busy schedules that characterize life in the modern world, visiting the doctor for seemingly minor issues may appear to be a hassle. However, these health issues can evolve into serious conditions, taking up more time and money in medical bills. This is why you should consider seeking out preventative care to get such issues resolved easily.

Open a Health Savings Account

Saving for medical emergencies is another great way to save money on healthcare expenses. A HSA account is not only tax-advantaged but the money can also be invested in order to grow. In this way, your financial status will not be hurt in case of a medical emergency.

Health Savings Accounts [Infographic]

Save on Drugs

Generally, generic drugs tend to be cheaper than branded names. You can also consider going for over-the-counter versions to save money. This will also help you avoid a costly medical bill.

How Medical Loans Can Save You Money

When faced with huge medical expenses, loans for medical treatment may be the answer to getting you the money you need. These loans can help you save money on medical bills in several ways.

  • Consolidating medical debt: If you are struggling to repay your medical debt or your minimum monthly payments are too high, you can consider taking out a medical loan to consolidate the debt and enjoy lower interest rates.
  • Help you avoid high-interest rates: When you need to pay your medical expenses, but other types of loans have high-interest rates, a medical loan can offer you lower interest, helping you save money.
  • Help to finance a big one-time expense: Rather than using your regular credit card to pay for medical expenses, a medical loan will offer a cheaper way to finance the big expense. This is a practical and inexpensive way to access healthcare while keeping your budget manageable.
  • Help improve your credit score: Taking out a medical loan gives you an opportunity to improve your credit score. If you manage the funds prudently and make all payments on time, you will have better credit. This will make it easy for you to access loans with lower interest rates in the future.
  • Avoid annoying pop-up fees: With medical loans, you will have the chance to look into the details of the agreement to ensure that no hidden fees will creep up. This will help save money on medical bills since you will not have to pay additional fees once you pay the upfront fees as well as the loan over the agreed period.

What is Medical Financing?

Consumers have to prioritize their health if they are to enjoy a high quality of life, go about their daily activities in a normal way, and achieve their goals. However, medical care the world over is expensive and can deplete the financial resources of your family. Similarly, medical emergencies can strike at any time. These are some of the reasons why a good number of consumers turn to financial help to pay their medical expenses.

Depending on your financial circumstances, you can consider medical bill loans as one of the ways to cover your expenses. A medical loan is an unsecured loan that allows borrowers to access the money they need without putting up any form of collateral as security. However, the lender may require that the money obtained be used only for repaying medical debt. Considering that the cost of healthcare is beyond the reach of many, consumers need to look for ways to save money on medical bills. This will not only make it possible for them to afford the care they need but also ease pressure on their wallets to help them avoid getting into financial problems.

Shop for a Medical Loan

Medical loans come with a certain level of financial responsibility. Before taking out these loans, consumers have to understand what they are getting themselves into. Make sure you compare the various options available in order to choose the product that is likely to help you meet your needs. Similarly, you should keep the cost of borrowing in mind in order to avoid increasing the amount of debt you owe. This will involve focusing on factors such as the interest charged on loan as well as any other fees and charges.

Advantages of Medical Loans

One of the most common ways through which people prepare for medical emergencies is by buying medical insurance. While this is a good option, it is associated with a number of limitations. There are also times when your medical insurance will not cover the full cost of treatment. This is why consumers have to be aware of other options, such as loans for medical treatment. Below are some advantages of these loans.

High-speed Approval

A good number of lenders have made it possible for borrowers to apply for medical loans online. This ensures quick approval and almost-instant loan disbursement so you can concentrate on the important tasks of the treatment.

Loan for Any Type of Ailment

Medical loans can be used for any type of treatment or procedure. These include dental work, cosmetic surgery, eye care, emergency care, and long-term treatment. All you need to know is the cost of the procedure.

Treatment at The Hospital of Your Choice

Unlike insurance plans that may limit the facility you visit, a medical loan does not have such restrictions. This gives you the flexibility you need when seeking medical care.

Flexible Tenure Options

The tenure options offered on medical loans will generally be flexible. You cab repay the loan in monthly installments over a period of up to 24 months.

There Are No Prepayment Penalties

Most medical loans do not have prepayment penalties. This means that if you are looking to save money on medical bills, you can prepay the loan before the tenure ends in order to reduce the amount of interest you will pay.

No Need for Collateral

Most types of loans will require you to provide collateral to back them up. With medical loans, the majority of lenders will not ask for security. This makes it easier to get the loan instantly in case of an emergency.

Minimal Documentation

When you or your loved one has been taken ill, you will want to reduce the amount of stress you go through. The good thing is that most health loans have minimal documentation. Some will only require you to submit treatment details and medical history.

When to Take Out a Medical Loan

While medical finance is associated with several benefits, it still makes for a huge financial commitment. If not handled properly, a medical loan has the potential to affect not only your credit score but also hurt your financial health. This is why you should take out the loans only when it is necessary.

In Case of An Emergency

Even with the best preparations, medical emergencies come when you least expect them. In the event of health complications or higher medical bills than you expected, you can choose to apply for a medical loan. This type of loan will save the day when there is no time to apply for other types of loans.

If You Have Bad Credit

Bad credit may see most conventional lenders denying you loans. With the loan opportunities available to you having been limited, you will have to look for other ways to access the money you need. Medical loans for bad credit are specifically designed to help people who have poor credit.

When You Have Exhausted Other Options

There are different ways of paying for your medical bills. However, if you have tried these options but have recorded little or no success, you should think about applying for a loan. Medical loans will allow you to get the amount you need within a short time and repay it over time.

Regardless of the reason for which you take out the loan, you should ensure that it will not get you into financial problems. The interest charged on loan should be such that you can pay it back without straining financially. In order to reduce the amount you borrow, you should consider the different ways to save money on medical bills.

Emergency Medical Loan Options

Once you have made the decision to take out a medical loan, it is important to familiarize yourself with the different options you can choose from. This is particularly necessary if you want to save money on medical bills. 

Here are some common types of loans you are likely to come across.

Unsecured Medical Loan

With an unsecured medical loan, the lender does not require a call for collateral. However, to qualify for this type of loan, you must build up trust with the lender and have fairly good credit.

Secured Medical Loan

These loans require you to put up some form of collateral as security for the loan. Lenders will mostly accept items of high value such as a car, a house, or stocks. While putting up collateral will increase your chances of getting the loan, not paying the loan can have c onsequences that include losing your asset.

In House Medical Loan

Also known as an in house medical card, this involves an agreement with the hospital to pay your bills over a specified period of time. While the interest rate on the loan is usually high, the arrangement is suitable for when you need extra time to pay your bill. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully before making a commitment.

Credit Card Loan

Consumers can also use their regular credit cards to pay their medical bills. However, you should remember that medical emergencies do not mean that you will get special treatment. Therefore, you should be careful about going over the established terms and limits.

Medical Credit Card Loan

There are certain institutions that offer credit cards meant to be used only for paying off medical debt. These credit cards allow users to take advantage of significantly lower interest rates. However, you should ensure that you pay off the credit card debt on time.

Home Equity Loan

This is a type of secured loan that allows you to put up your place of residence as collateral. In case you cannot pay back the loan, there is the risk of foreclosure.

401 (k) Loan

This is one of the best options for anyone looking to save money on medical bills as you will not pay interest. However, you can only access the 401 (k) account that your employer keeps for you in extreme situations and for emergency purposes.

Questions to Ask Before Taking Out Health Loans

When it comes to health loans, there are numerous options out there. Choosing the right one for you will involve making sure it will help you save money on medical bills. Here are some questions to ask before taking out the loans.

What is the interest rate? 

It is necessary to know how much you will pay for the cash you want to access. Make sure you know whether the rate is variable or fixed since this will directly affect the cost of borrowing.

Is there an early pay-off penalty? 

Although you may need a medical loan for a short period of time, some do not allow for a quick pay-off. Make sure you know ahead of time whether the lender has a penalty for paying off the loan early.

Does the lender charge late fees? 

You will also want to be clear about how late payments are handled. Find out whether the lender will apply a small fee or if the interest rate will go up in the event of late payment.

Does the lender offer a promotional rate? 

It will be important to know if the loan offers a promotional rate. In case it does, you should understand what the arrangement looks like. Some loans will offer a lower rate for a limited time before you are required to pay it in full over a set period. In the end, the decision you make should help you save money on medical bills.

Medical Loans for Bad Credit

You may find yourself in a situation where you have poor credit but need a loan to pay your medical expenses. Poor credit could make it difficult for you to access funding from conventional financial lenders. The good news is that there are medical loans for bad credit, loans that are designed for consumers who will not be approved by traditional lenders.

If you have poor credit, some of the options available to you include payday loans, loans from local finance lenders, and financing from title loan lenders. However, it is important to note that some of these loans may have predatory characteristics. While most of the people who take out medical loans have reached a point of helplessness and maybe growing desperate, they should ensure that the loan will help them save money on medical bills. Going for a loan that is predatory may make your financial situation worse over time.

Since nobody knows when they will need medical finance, you may want to consider working on your credit score when you still have time. This means reducing your existing debt, paying your bills on time, and adopting healthy financial habits. In this way, you will avoid the frustration associated with applying for medical loans with bad credit. You will also have a better chance of accessing the healthcare you need and save money on medical bills.

Other Ways to Pay Medical Bills

Health loans are not the only way to pay your medical bills. There are many other alternatives that consumers can explore. Most of these alternatives will not attract interest, a factor that will go a long way in helping you save money on medical bills.

  • Health insurance: Buying insurance is one of the best ways to prepare for a medical emergency. Although the insurance coverage may not always cover the full cost of treatment, it will take care of a significant portion of the expenses. It is important to ensure that the insurance plan you go for will cover treatment for different types of ailments.
  • Your savings: The importance of having an emergency fund for unforeseen events such as medical expenses cannot be denied. If you have some money set aside for this purpose, you may not have to take out a medical loan. Even in cases where you end up taking the loan, the loan amount will be manageable.
  • Borrowing from family and friends: Whenever possible, you should consider borrowing from family and friends before taking out a medical loan. In most cases, this will be an interest-free option that will save you money. However, you must ensure that you repay the money to avoid straining the relationship.
  • Fundraising: Another option would be to fundraise. Getting small contributions from people will go a long way in helping you pay for healthcare. In this era of social media, you can use the different platforms to request for the financial support you need.
  • Medical expense deduction: A medical expense deduction will significantly reduce the amount you have to pay. This will give you a great opportunity to reduce the financial burden of medical expenses. However, the downside is that you will have to pay the entire medical bill upfront.
  • Alternative treatment options: In case you establish that the medical procedure to be done is too expensive for you, you should check whether there are alternative treatment options. Some of the alternatives could be cheaper, allowing you to save money on medical bills.

Common Causes of Surprise Medical BillsHow Surprise Medical Bills Are Impacting Health Plans

Health is the most important aspect of your life. As such, you should never compromise when it comes to getting proper care or taking your medicine. As you plan ahead of time, you should ensure that you put in place measures that will see you save money on medical bills. Below are some common causes of surprise medical bills.

  • Not reading the fine print: If you pay your medical insurance policy without analyzing the plan or buy policies depending on the one that has the lowest premium, you may end up having a difficult time when you need medical care. You could either find out that there is a massive deductible or that there is no enough money to meet your medical expenses.
  • Change in coverage: A simple change in coverage could see you paying more in terms of medical bills. While you may have reviewed your plan diligently, the drugs you require presently may not be covered under the plan. Similarly, the coverage may be minimal, or your health care provider might not be covered under your policy.
  • Children: Although children bring us joy, they can develop illnesses or suffer injuries at any time. As much as you may have some money set aside for emergencies, the high cost of medical care can surprise your budget. Emergency room visits, consulting pediatricians, therapy, and other forms of treatment may be more costly than you previously thought.
  • Travel surprise: There are times when you will have planned and saved for your dream vacation but forget important issues such as medical issues. In case the immunizations required are not covered under your plan, you will have to pay for them from your own pocket.
  • Accidents: Accidents, just like other medical emergencies, can strike at any time. Regardless of how careful you may be, accidents can occur, resulting in injuries and the need for medical care. In case the medical treatment, medication, and therapy you need are not covered, the expenses can create a huge financial burden. You will be forced to take out medical bill loans, in some cases.

Final Thoughts

In summary, there are many ways of paying medical bills and expenses. You should always look at the different options available to ensure that the one you choose will help you save money on medical bills. If you decide to take out a loan for medical treatment, make sure the lender offers favorable terms that will allow you to afford the loan. We make it possible for borrowers to find lenders easily and conveniently so that they enjoy a hassle-free borrowing experience. The next time you need a medical loan, kindly consider working with us.

 

Medical Finance Options for Primary Care: Money 911

There are many people who can’t afford medical bills or proper medical treatment. The medical industry is known for its high costs but there are medical finance options that can help you out.

What Is a Medical Loan?

A medical loan is a personal loan that you use to pay for medical expenses. These loans can be used for different medical treatments, including elective procedures, surgeries, fertility treatments, and more. There are a number of lenders, including online businesses, credit unions, and banks that will offer these loans. Oftentimes, medical loans can be secured, which means you don’t have to put up any collateral. For these loans, lenders will focus on factors such as your income and your credit history to determine if you qualify. You can also apply for secured personal loans for medical expenses, which require collateral. With these, you may be able to get more competitive rates. The amount of money you can borrow for a personal loan will depend on different factors, including your credit history.

If a medical loan is something you need, go to a credible lender for it. You don’t want to get scammed, especially if you decide to apply for a loan online. We actually encourage you to do so! Applying online is not only a lot simpler than going around looking for a loan, but it’s also much faster.

Alternatives to Loans and Different Medical Finance Options

Sometimes, you may find that taking out loans is not one of the best medical finance options. This could be because the interest rate is too high for you to comfortably pay back the loan or you may not qualify. If you can’t get a loan, you may be able to have other medical finance options.

Explore Different Financial Assistance

If you are struggling to make ends meet then you may be able to qualify for reduced cost or free care. Hospitals will usually have financial assistance programs to help you with the care you need. The criteria for these programs will vary but you need to consider your income, different assets, and whether the care you are getting is a necessity. Another one of your medical finance options is to work out a payment plan with the hospital if you need some extra time to pay.

Ask about Discounts

Some hospitals will still provide discounts if you don’t qualify for reduced or free care. Every hospital has its own policy but if you are uninsured then it doesn’t hurt to ask for any discounts available.

Negotiate Lower Payments

If you don’t qualify for any financial assistance but still need to lower your bill then consider negotiations with the hospital or doctor. It’s possible to negotiate an out-of-network bill down to a payment that is more manageable.

Use a Medical Credit Card

There are medical credit cards available through your healthcare provider to help with paying eligible bills. Unlike a regular credit card, a medical card can only be used to pay for healthcare and with a provider that accepts it. Some medical credit cards also come with a period of deferred interest. If you can pay off the balance before the deferment period is up then you won’t need to pay interest. Once you have used the medical credit card to pay for care you’ll make payments to the credit card company instead of the doctor. Once you pay for the bill on a medical credit card you usually aren’t likely to qualify for financial assistance. A benefit of medical credit cards instead of regular credit cards is that you can’t rack up debt on other purchases.

Use a Regular Credit Card

Instead of getting a medical credit card, you can also use a regular credit card. You may be able to qualify for a credit card with a low interest rate offer. However, if you aren’t able to pay off your balance before the introductory rate ends or you aren’t able to keep up with your payments, this can cost you more.

Health Savings Account

An HSA can help those who have high deductible plans. It’s not a loan but you should still explore your options with an HSA. There are many advantages to using this type of account and the main one is the tax benefits.

Discounts

Some medical providers will give you a discount if you pay the full amount within 30 days. While this option may be feasible for large bills, it can also help you save on costs for smaller bills. For example, if you are able to get 10% off for paying your bill in full within 30 days of small procedures then the 10% adds up quickly and you have more money to pay for larger medical bills.

Dispute Any Billing Inaccuracies

Before you pay the bill, double check the invoice to make sure everything is correct. If you find incorrect information, call the healthcare provider or your insurance company to dispute errors.

Choosing Different Medical Finance Options

When you are comparing different loans for medical bills and medical finance options, there are some things to keep in mind to make the decision easier.

Annual Percentage Rate

The APR is the true annual cost of borrowing, which includes fees and interest. When you compare the APR, you are able to compare apples to apples on different loans you are considering. APRs can range from 6% to 36%. In order to get the lowest rates, you will need a high credit score.

Variable or Fixed Rate

The loan’s rate can be fixed or variable. A fixed rate will stay the same and make payments the same amount each month. A variable interest rate can cause the payment amount to fall or rise depending on the market. With a fixed rate, you have peace of mind knowing that your payments won’t go up and you can work them into your budget.

Origination Fee

Some lenders will charge a one-time origination fee in order to cover the processing cost of the loan. The fee can range from 1% to 6% and is included in the APR calculation. Many lenders will subtract the origination fee from the loan proceeds so you need to consider this when determining how much you need to ask for when applying.

Loan Term

The repayment period and your loan terms will affect the monthly payments. A longer repayment term will give you a lower monthly payment but you will pay more in interest over the life of the loan. You need a loan term that gives you payments to fit into your budget. You can use a personal loan calculator to see your estimated payments at varying loan terms.

Speed

If you need funding fast then consider a lender that has a quick application to funding timeline. Some online lenders are able to provide you with funding in a day or two. Others can give you funding in a week.

Medical Situations Loans Help With Overcoming

Loans and other medical finance options can help with payments and cover the cost of different medical procedures you may not be able to get otherwise.

Orthodontia

You or a family member may need braces in order to ensure the healthy development of teeth. Even if braces could be used for a healthy jaw, orthodontia does fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry. This means it can be hard to get insurance to over the cost of braces. Medical loans can help with these costs. Medical loans can offer better rates than negotiating with an orthodontist and can also be a reliable option if there aren’t any state-specific dental programs near you.

Reconstructive Surgery

There are two kinds of reconstructive surgery. Insurance will cover some procedures and there are the others that you are responsible for funding. Typically those surgeries that are to improve the body’s regular function will be covered under standard health plans.

The procedures that are covered under reconstructive surgery include:

  • Breast Surgery – This can be for reconstruction after a lumpectomy.
  • Hand Surgery – Surgery can be done to treat carpal tunnel syndrome and tendon and nerve injuries.
  • Ear Surgery – This may be needed to correct any ear-related injuries or birth deformities in the ears.
  • Nasal surgery – This can also help with birth deformities or problems with breathing.

Cosmetic surgeries are usually not covered by insurance.

Fertility Treatments

There are only a few states that require health insurance to cover fertility treatments such as IVF. A typical IVF cycle can cost $10,000 or more. Medical loans can reduce the cost barrier for those couples that want to have children but can’t. Financing through a clinic may come at a higher rate than a medical loan. Medical loans prevent other risky options such as borrowing against the home.

Bariatric Procedures

Health insurance doesn’t necessarily cover weight loss surgery and this can be true for different bariatric procedures. There are several steps that need to be taken in order for your insurance company to even consider it. Approval can take 30 days to a year. Not every state requires the insurance company to cover the cost of this type of surgery. You can receive funding sooner if you go through a medical loan. A medical loan can also help pay for the additional living expenses during your recovery and can cover procedures for extra skin.

Advantages of Medical Loans

Bills for medical costs are the number one reason why people file for bankruptcy. Taking out a medical loan can allow you to manage your healthcare costs on a payment schedule that works for you. You can avoid the stress of worrying about debt collections or trying to pay off the procedure in one shot.

You may be able to get the funds you need for your procedure faster than if you waited for insurance to decide whether something is covered or not. Medical loans may be able to give you better medical financial options than what you are given for financing through a medical service provider. You can use the money for a personal loan for medical bills for other medically related expenses, such as living expenses during your treatment and recovery. You can also use a medical loan to help with medical debt consolidation. If you have multiple bills from different medical providers, this can help you keep track of everything.

Disadvantages of Medical Loans

Depending on your credit, medical loans can be one of the more expensive medical finance options. Some borrowers may be able to qualify for low interest personal loans, but applicants with less than perfect credit histories will likely see higher interest rates. Depending on the terms you qualify for, you may be paying a lot of interest over the years.

Medical loans don’t decrease the total cost of what you are paying for care. If you are struggling to pay the bills, it also helps to look at ways that you can reduce the amount you are required to pay.

Prequalifying for Medical Bill Loans

Prequalifying for medical bills loans is the first step in the loan approval process. It will give lenders a look into your creditworthiness and gives you preview at what you may get. Getting prequalified doesn’t guarantee you a loan and lenders do verify information before the final approval.

You first fill out a prequalification form and share information such as your existing debt, occupation, and income. The lender then performs a soft credit check to look at your credit score and history. This check gives the lender an idea of how risky you could be as a borrower. The lender either grants or denies prequalification. If you prequalify then you will get information about the loan you could receive, which includes the loan amount and rate. You can then accept or decline the offer. If you accept then you formally apply for the loan, which requires additional information and verification.

The actual prequalification process shouldn’t impact your credit score since it’s a soft check. If you continue with the loan application after prequalification then the lender will verity financial history and perform a hard credit check. The hard credit check will show up on your credit report for two years and temporarily take some points off your score.

What is Adverse Action?

If you get an adverse action, this means you have been denied the loan. Typically an adverse action will only be sent to you if you have been denied and not if you just fail to prequalify. The lender will include information about the credit agency provided in the report, your current score, factors contributing to it, and why you were denied. This can give you an idea of how to qualify for a loan in the future but for now you will need to find other medical finance options.

Common Reasons Why Medical Costs Can Surprise You

While you may have health insurance, there are number of reasons why health care costs can take you by surprise. When these things happen, you need to consider your medical finance options.

Not Understanding the Fine Print

Many people make a decision about a health insurance plan based on the lowest available premium. This can work for you if you are healthy and rarely use the policy. However, if you need medical care, you may discover that there is a huge deductible and you may not have thousands of extra dollars just sitting around for medical expenses. Any surprise like this can cripple your finances.

Change in Coverage

If you diligently review your policy and know how to balance any medical expenses, a change in coverage can throw you for a loop. For example, you may discover that prescriptions you need are no longer covered under your plan. This could mean that a prescription that once cost you $10 is now costing you $250. Your medical provider could suddenly be considered out of network and if you don’t find another doctor then you are stuck with the higher cost.

Children

Children can get sick or injured frequently. Things such as emergency room visits, pediatric specialists, X-rays, and medicine can add up fast and put a huge dent in your finances.

Travel Surprises

You have planned the perfect vacation but there can be medical costs associated with that trip. Depending on where you will travel, you may need immunizations that aren’t covered under you plan. There is also the possibility that you will need medical care while you are traveling and those costs can be expensive. The best thing to do is have the knowledge of what can happen and have a last-minute plan in the event that something unlikely happens.

Accidents

Accidents can occur at any time. There are countless people who have been injured in accidents that weren’t their fault. No matter your coverage or ability to pay for your medical bills, one accident can drain your savings. Not only will you have to pay for the medical expenses but there is likely the cost of a car repair deductible and you could be missing work. You may even need to have therapy after an accident. A loan for medical bills can help with the medical expenses that occur after an accident.

What Does Your Insurance Cover?

Understanding medical necessity is the key to figuring out your heath insurance and coverages. If you have a procedure done and find out it’s not covered by your heath plan, you may find that this is because it wasn’t medically necessary.

What Is Medical Necessity?

Medical necessity is defined as a medical service, test, or procedure that is required after the diagnosis by a medical doctor.

When it comes to getting paid for an insurance claim, you need to make sure the procedure or service you are having done is covered. One of the keys to getting reimbursed for a medical expense is knowing what your policy will see as a medical necessity.

How to Check Medically Necessary Coverage

In order to check if something is medically necessary, call your health insurance or check your health insurance documents to ask about the overage for the specific test or procedure. Even if it is medically necessary, there may be limitations or exclusions for the amount they will pay. Sometimes a plan can limit the number of items or the total amount payable for a procedure so just finding out if it’s covered won’t give you all the information.

Find out if the whole procedure and other related aspects are covered. Sometimes only part of the procedure is covered and you have different options. Go over these options with your doctor as well. Going the most expensive route may not always be covered. See if you have to go to a specific in-network care center or hospital in order to have coverage. Sometimes going to a doctor, hospital, or clinic outside the network will exclude you from coverage.

There are plenty of examples of things that aren’t medically necessary. If your hospitals surpasses the health plan approved length of stay, you won’t be covered for the whole visit. Physical therapy may be covered but there will be a limit on the amount of treatment that will fall into the medically necessary category. Treatments provided in a location or hospital when there are less expensive settings also won’t be covered. Certain prescription drugs may also not be considered medically necessary. This can include weight loss or fertility drugs.

Some preventative services will be considered medically necessary. An annual wellness visit or a procedure that can prevent health issues can be covered.

Steps for Dealing with Medical Debt Collections

It’s best to look at your medical debt and go through your medical finance options before you declare bankruptcy.

Резултат слика за how to pay for medical bills infographic

Don’t Ignore It

The last thing you want to do is ignore your medical bill and have it be sent to a collection agency. You can’t ignore your child’s medical bills either. Among forms you signed was the agreement to pay for your child’s medical expenses. If you don’t pay the bill, it will hurt your credit just as it would if it was your own medical bill.

Make Sure It’s a Bill

Read through what you received in the mail carefully to make sure that you actually have a balance due. Sometimes the heath insurance company will send an explanation of benefits that explains what’s covered on your behalf and this can look like a bill. This explanation can give you a heads up for any medical bills that are on the way. When insurance isn’t covering something, it’s likely you will see a bill soon.

Verify It’s Not Covered by Insurance

Since medical billing is complex, mistakes can happen. Make sure your doctor’s office actually billed the insurance company for the right services and then follow up with your insurance company to see why it’s not covered. Being proactive in clearing up any mistakes can save you money.

Negotiate

If you aren’t up to negotiation, there are companies that will do it for you. The medical industry counts on you not understanding what you are being billed for and uses it against you. This is where negotiating can come in.

Pay It Off or Make Arrangements

Once you have exhausted your negotiating then it’s time to use your medical finance options. You may be able to pay off smaller bills if you have money in an emergency fund or savings account. If you aren’t able to pay in full, look at your payment options with the hospital or medical loans. Be sure to review your budget in order to figure out what you can afford. As with any bill, you need to make payments on time every month or your account can be sent to collections.

Conclusion

There are different medical finance options you have to pay down medical debt. Loans for medical bills can be a big option and there are different advantages and disadvantages to choosing this route. There are different things to look for when comparing loan options and you want to take a look at the APR in order to compare which loan option is the best. Loans can provide you a resource to pay for items that aren’t considered medically necessary and aren’t covered by insurance. Always talk to your insurance company about negotiating and seeing if items are covered before you pay a medical bill.