Previously, we talked about four ways to save on medical bills. Most of those techniques involved ways to delay or forego medical expenditures. However, sometimes medical care is necessary, and in the case of a major injury or mental health crisis, the amount you spend on medical care can be large and sudden. When faced with large medical bills, you may feel discouraged and overwhelmed, but there are still 4 more ways to save on medical bills.
Offer to Pay Cash for a Discount
If your large medical expense is not the result of an emergency that requires immediate attention, you may be able to offer to pay cash for the procedure in exchange for a discount.
When a woman is planning to have a baby at a certain hospital or birthing center, she can often negotiate for this type of discount, for instance. By paying cash, she saves the hospital the trouble of going back and forth with insurance. Therefore, the hospital may gladly give a discount.
Negotiate with the Provider
Another option is to negotiate with the provider. Julie’s insurance didn’t cover psychologist appointments, so when her son needed therapy, she negotiated with the provider. While the rate to see a more experienced psychologist was $125 per hour, she was offered the chance to have her son see an intern for $50 per hour. The intern was supervised by one of the experienced psychologists. This helped Julie feel comfortable going this route.
Create a Payment Plan with the Provider
If you are facing medical bills in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, make sure to not only negotiate with the provider, but also to ask to go on a payment plan. When my children had orthodontic work done, I paid a down payment and then took advantage of the orthodontist’s payment plan. I paid the same amount for 18 months, and the orthodontist charged me no interest.
Hospitals and other medical providers may offer you a similar type of payment plan. Many will provide these payment plans free of interest, while others do charge some interest. Make sure to get your payment plan in writing. If your financial situation changes, contact the medical provider so the arrangement can remain in good faith.
If you or a loved one is facing long-term medical expenses, research, research, research. You may find organizations that can help you pay for the services you need.
One of our children was diagnosed with high functioning autism a year ago. We have literally paid thousands of dollars out of pocket for services. However, even after spending that much money and seriously straining our budget, there were services like occupational and speech therapy that we could not afford. A friend told us about an organization that helps families like ours. We went through a lengthy application process and were approved. Now our child is receiving speech and occupational therapy at no charge to us.
Similarly, a family friend’s husband had a catastrophic stroke from which he’ll never recover. She found an organization that will help her pay for her husband’s long-term care. This is something she desperately needed because her husband will be institutionalized for the rest of his life.
High medical bills can be overwhelming. However, there are 4 more ways to save on medical bills that you can use to get the help you need and to reduce the amount that you need to pay.
Have you faced high medical bills? If so, what strategies did you use to remain financially solvent while paying your medical bill obligations?