Medical bills may be unavoidable, but they can have a substantial impact on your finances. The high cost of healthcare services in the U.S. means that medical bills account for a significant proportion of consumer debt. In fact, Americans hold a collective amount of $140 billion in unpaid medical bills, which highlights just how many people are affected by medical debt and bankruptcy.
As you can’t always predict when you’ll incur medical bills, it’s important to be prepared. With this in mind, take a look at these three ways you can avoid medical debt:
1. Check Your Insurance Policies
If you have health insurance coverage, you might assume that you’ll be protected from medical debt. However, a policy with high deductibles can leave you facing high costs, even if the bulk of your medical treatment is covered. Furthermore, there may be certain conditions or situations in which your health insurance policy won’t cover the costs of treatment.
By examining your policy in detail, you can determine whether you have the right level of cover in place. Similarly, if you don’t currently have health insurance, check whether you’re eligible for reduced-cost insurance, particularly now that the Medicaid program has been expanded in several states. Having the right policy in place can significantly reduce future medical costs and protect your finances.
Related Reads: Five Insurance Policies for Consulting Business Protection
2. Start an Emergency Fund
Managing your finances means preparing for unexpected costs, such as medical bills or household repairs. If you have an emergency fund to fall back on, you’ll have peace of mind that any sudden expenditure won’t affect your day-to-day finances.
Making regular contributions to an emergency fund can be an easy way to protect your future finances, even if you only make modest monthly additions to your fund. Over time, you’ll accrue a significant amount that can be used to pay for deductibles or other healthcare-related costs, as and when they arise.
3. Claim Compensation
Depending on the reason why you need to seek medical treatment, you may be able to claim back the cost of your healthcare bills in the form of compensation. If you’ve sustained an injury or developed an illness and someone else was responsible, for example, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
With help from experienced personal injury lawyers, like Romanucci and Blandin, you can establish liability and prove that another individual, company, or organization is responsible for the injuries or illness you’ve experienced.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident and another road user caused the collision, you should be able to obtain compensation from them. Alternatively, if were injured due to a faulty product, the manufacturers could be forced to accept liability and be required to pay compensation.
Managing Healthcare Costs
Healthcare costs can quickly spiral and cause financial difficulties for millions of Americans, but you can mitigate the impact if you’re proactive about managing your finances. By knowing what your rights are and seeking advice from qualified professionals, you can ensure that medical debt doesn’t become an unmanageable issue.