Showing posts with label Medical Expenses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medical Expenses. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Advice for How to Handle Medical Expenses

Medical expenses can be a nightmare for many individuals and families. With unpredictable health issues, the high cost of healthcare, and increasing insurance premiums, it can be overwhelming to deal with medical bills. 

If you are struggling to manage your medical expenses, don't worry - you are not alone. 

In this blog, we will explore some practical tips to help you manage your medical expenses in a systematic and effective way.

Review Your Health Insurance

The first step in managing your medical expenses is to understand your health insurance policy. Review your policy details to know what is covered and what is not. 

Most insurance policies, something like the medicare advantage insurance plan, come with a deductible, i.e., an amount that you need to pay before the insurance provider starts covering your healthcare expenses. 

Knowing your deductible, co-pay amount and out-of-pocket maximum can help you plan your expenses and avoid unexpected bills.

Ask Questions

Whenever you are seeking healthcare services, ask questions. Ask your provider about the cost of the procedure, available discounts, and payment plans. Also, check if alternative options are available that may be less expensive. 

If you are prescribed medication, ask if the generic alternative is as effective as the brand-name drug. Being proactive and asking questions can help you save a lot of money in the long run.

Negotiate With Healthcare Providers

It's not uncommon for healthcare providers to charge different amounts for the same service or procedure. So, if you receive an exorbitant bill, don't hesitate to ask for a discount. 

Negotiating with your provider can help you save a lot of money. Also, if you are facing financial difficulties, inform your provider and see if they can offer you payment plans or financial assistance.

Look Into Personal Loans

If you are struggling to pay off medical bills, consider taking out a personal loan. Many banks and financial institutions like credit unions offer things like secured personal loans specifically for healthcare expenses. 

These loans often have lower interest rates than credit cards and can give you more time to pay off the bills. However, make sure to compare different options and read all terms and conditions carefully before signing up for a loan.

Keep Track of Your Expenses

When it comes to managing your finances, staying organized is crucial, especially when it comes to medical expenses. By keeping track of your bills, insurance claims, and the cost of medication, you can not only identify any mistakes or discrepancies, but you can also ensure you're not being overcharged for any services. 

Additionally, maintaining detailed records of your medical expenses can be incredibly helpful when it comes to filing your taxes- as some medical expenses may be tax-deductible. Taking the time to keep track of these expenses may seem tedious at first, but it can ultimately save you time and money in the long run.

Look for Community Resources

It's no secret that healthcare expenses can be overwhelming, but what many people may not realize is that there are actually a variety of community resources available to help alleviate those costs. 

By doing a bit of research and reaching out to local non-profit organizations, religious institutions, or government agencies, you may be able to find financial assistance for medical expenses. 

Additionally, some states offer healthcare assistance programs or Medicaid that can help cover expenses if you meet certain eligibility criteria. Don't hesitate to look into these options if you're struggling to pay for medical bills – there may be help available that you weren't aware of.

Plan Ahead

When it comes to your health, it’s important to plan ahead. You can stay on top of your health by scheduling regular check-ups and physical exams and catching any potential problems early on. 

This can save you money in the long run by preventing expensive medical treatments that could have been avoided. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to create an emergency fund specifically earmarked for unexpected medical expenses

By having a financial cushion to fall back on, you can handle unexpected bills without the stress of going into debt. Take the necessary steps to plan ahead, and you’ll be well-prepared to protect your health and wallet.

Final Thoughts

Managing medical expenses can be challenging, but with some planning and effort, you can navigate your way through it. 

Understanding your health insurance policy, speaking with your healthcare providers, and looking for community resources can help you manage your expenses and avoid unnecessary bills. Also, planning ahead and creating an emergency fund can help you prepare for unexpected medical expenses. 

Remember, your health is your wealth, so don't compromise when it comes to taking care of yourself, but make sure you are taking a smart financial approach to it.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

How to Make Medical Expenses More Affordable When You're Retired

Medical expenses can be a huge burden for retirees, as well as the rest of the public in our modern for-profit healthcare system. Healthcare costs keep going up, and it's often difficult to afford the treatments and procedures you need. 

However, you can do a few things to make medical expenses more affordable when you're retired. This blog post will discuss the best ways to reduce your medical costs without sacrificing your health or quality of life.

Build Up an Emergency Fund

One of the best ways to make medical expenses more affordable is to have an emergency fund. This will help you cover unexpected medical costs, such as a sudden illness or injury. 

It's a good idea to have at least three to six months' worth of living expenses saved up in an emergency fund. This way, if you have a major medical expense, you won't have to worry about how you will pay for it.

Look Into Medicare and Other Health Insurance Options

If you're retired, you may be eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a government-sponsored health insurance program that provides coverage for seniors and retirees. Other health insurance options are still available if you're not eligible for Medicare.

Many private health insurance companies offer plans for retirees. These plans can be expensive, but they may provide better coverage than Medicare.

Join a Discount Medical Program Organization

A discount medical program organization, or DMPO, is an organization that provides members with discounts on medical services. 

These organizations usually have a network of doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies that offer discounted rates to members. Discount medical program organizations can be a great way to save money on medical expenses.

Some discount medical program organizations charge an annual fee, while others charge a monthly or per-visit fee. Be sure to compare the fees charged by different organizations before you join one.

Consider a Health Savings Account

Another option for making medical expenses more affordable is to open a health savings account (HSA). An HSA allows you to save money for medical expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. This means that you can use the money in your HSA to pay for qualifying medical expenses without paying taxes on the withdrawals.

An HSA offers a triple tax advantage: The money you contribute to your HSA is deductible from your taxable income. The money in your HSA grows tax-deferred. Lastly, withdrawals from your HSA are tax-free as long as they're used to pay for qualifying medical expenses.

Essentially, medical expenses can be a big financial burden for retirees. However, planning ahead and taking advantage of available resources can help make medical expenses more affordable.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Damages You Can Be Compensated for After a Car Accident

Car accidents are horrific tragedies that you hope will never happen. However, after a car accident, you can easily get on the road to recovery. Let’s take a close and detailed look at three types of damage you can be compensated for after a car accident.

Medical expenses

To start things off, you can be compensated for medical expenses. Car accidents often leave people with permanent or temporary injuries that require treatment. When you go to the hospital, you can be reimbursed for a good portion of your expenses. 

This can largely depend on your health insurance and whether you were at fault for the accident. Regardless, you always want to look into the maximum amount of money you can receive. Hospital bills are no joke, but with a little bit of help, you can get yourself out of a sticky financial situation.

Pain and suffering

Next, judges will also compensate you for pain and suffering. Although this is impossible to quantify, it definitely exists after a severe accident. It's only right that you receive some sort of monetary reward for all of your suffering. 

This can fall in line with visits to therapists or doctors who work to correct your mental state. As long as you do your part to remain positive, car accident attorneys will cover the other half of pain and suffering.

Lost income

Last but not least, there's no way you can go to work for a couple of weeks after a major car accident. Nevertheless, you still need to pay your bills without a stable source of income. Therefore, compensation for lost income is very commonplace. The government will look at your monthly income and settle on a reasonable figure for compensation.

In conclusion, these are a couple of types of damage you can be compensated for after a car accident. You don't have to address this damage on your own. Follow these tips and secure some compensation for you and your family.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Managing Medical Expenses: A Guide for Seniors

Reaching your golden years with a healthy retirement nest egg is no easy feat. Spending that money wisely once your retirement begins isn’t either. Americans fall behind the rest of the world when it comes to saving for retirement and spending those funds wisely, experts say. Also, both tasks can be made exponentially harder by medical bills.

If you’ve reached your golden years only to face a serious illness and all of the steep medical costs associated with it, you may be incredibly frustrated. This is supposed to be a time for you to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labors, not a time for worrying about money and your family’s future. 

Life doesn’t play by our rules, but there are still things that you can do to keep afloat financially and maximize your finances during your golden years.

Make sure you’re getting the most out of Medicare

Do you have Medicare? If you’re 65 or older and no longer on a private insurance plan, then you probably already signed up for some type of Medicare plan. Medicare can be tricky, though, and especially if you’re trying to make sure that you’re saving every cent possible.

It’s a good idea to turn to online resources to help you compare and sign up for plans during the Medicare OEP (open enrollment period). Consider turning to advisors to help you weigh your options, and remember to consider “gap plans” to cover things that Medicare does not (such as healthcare while you’re outside of the United States). 

Proper planning on the health insurance front can make a world of difference for you, your health, and your finances.

Look for ways to turn assets into cash

You’ve worked hard all of your life to save up for retirement, but your retirement fund isn’t the only place where your wealth resides. Many seniors also have extremely valuable assets, including everything from real estate and insurance policies to collectibles and antiques.

When you’re feeling as if you’ve been backed into a financial corner, take another look at these kinds of assets. You may be able to sell some off for that cash that you need in order to cover those medical bills.

You can even sell life insurance policies, experts say. These sorts of arrangements are called “viatical settlements,” and they are powerful ways to get cash quickly. The idea is this: If you’ve been paying into a life insurance policy, your beneficiaries are destined to receive a settlement when you pass away. 

However, that money may be worth more to you, your family, and your eventual estate if you can access it now and use it to pay down bills and debts that might otherwise snowball. That’s why, sometimes, it makes sense to sell off your future settlement for cash now.

In some cases, you can even turn assets into cash without selling them outright and immediately. Take a reverse mortgage, for instance: That’s an arrangement under which you sell your home bit by bit, accepting monthly payments from your lender (the opposite of sending money to your lender to pay down your old traditional mortgage). 

You’ll get to enjoy your home for the rest of your life, and then your heirs can choose how to pay off the loan (they could sell the house or, if they choose, pay in cash and keep the property).

Get help when you need it

Not everyone has access to every method for saving money on healthcare, and this sort of thing can quickly become confusing no matter what your age or familiarity with the system. That’s why it pays to turn to a professional when you need one. 

You could get financial advice from a financial advisor or, if necessary, chat with an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy. While hardly an appealing option, bankruptcy could help you make the best of a bad situation and end the stressful cycle of debt.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Budgeting for Medicare

When we talk about health coverage at any age, it’s easy to assume that whatever plan you have will cover the entire cost of any medical expenses you incur. The truth though, is that many plans don’t provide you with complete coverage. You may have to pay a portion of your expenses out of pocket.

With that truth, it can be scary for some, especially those approaching retirement. Not only are you living off your retirement plan and savings, but you also have the added expense of medical coverage, likely through Medicare, and having to pay any additional medical expenses not covered.

Part of your retirement plan should include budgeting for not only Medicare, but for your health in general. To help you out, here are a few tips that will be beneficial when it comes to budgeting.

First, Calculate Your Average Medical Expenses

If you’ve had consistent medical expenses throughout the years, those are likely to continue with you into retirement. You want to have a monthly average of what you spend on prescription medication and any doctor appointments needed. This number will help you decide which Medicare plan is best for you.

If you don’t have any medical expenses right now, that isn’t to say you won’t have any in the future. Start researching what some of the standard medical costs for those in retirement as some may eventually apply to you are.

Know the Different Medicare Plans

Medicare can be confusing. There are many different plans the cover only certain parts of your health. Part A encompasses hospital visits, inpatient rehabilitation, nursing and hospice care facilities, and some home health services. 

Part B covers both inpatient and outpatient care, ambulance services, some hospitalization, clinical research and some medical equipment. Part D is for your prescription drug coverage.

There is a deductible you must pay every year for both Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D. That deductible could change each year (the 2017 deductible for Part B was $183). On top of that, there are your monthly premiums for your plan, and depending on your income, and when you enrolled, that could increase your premium.

There are also Medicare Supplement Plans to help fill in any gaps of your coverage. These plans are in addition to your Medicare coverage and help to cover any additional out-of-pocket expenses you may incur. You’ll have to factor in the different Medicare Supplement rates as well.

Budget for What Is Not Covered

Even with your Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans, there could still be out-of-pocket expenses. For example, most plans do not cover long-term care. They may cover portions or up to a certain amount, but there will still be some expenses left up to you. Those costs can add up very quickly.

Consider any vision, hearing, or dental care that could be an issue down the road. You cannot guarantee that all plans will cover these additional expenses, meaning the cost will fall on you.

So, how do you budget for Medicare? It’s best to err on the side of caution that you’ll have additional expenses not part of your coverage. The more you can have set aside for medical costs, the better off you will be.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Worst-Case: 3 Ways to Bolster Your Finances Against Catastrophe

Many people will have at least one unfortunate experience that creates intense financial stress, and some people will experience several of these events over the years. These catastrophic events may create financial stress through expensive medical bills, property damage repairs, required unpaid time off of work and more. 

Keep in mind that many of these issues may yield a combination of unexpected expenses, and this can dramatically multiple the financial stress that you may be feeling. 

For example, when you have to take time off of work for an illness, you may be reeling from lost wages and medical expenses at the same time. Planning for these types of events now can help you to be prepared for what the future holds.

Bolster Your Emergency Savings Account Balance

Regardless of your current financial situation, you need to have a well-funded savings account. This is separate from your investment and retirement accounts. The funds are specifically earmarked for emergency situations. 

You may initially save up to three months of expenses in this account, and you may want to work on expanding the balance to a full year of expenses.

Live without Debt

Debt can cost you a small fortune on a monthly basis. This is through the principal reduction and interest charges. You may also have to pay annual fees, late fees and more. 

These are unnecessary and avoidable expenses that unfortunately weigh down your budget on a monthly basis. When you pay off debt, you eliminate these unnecessary expenses, and you have more money available to cover unexpected expenses through your regular income. 

You may also be able to save more money regularly so that your emergency savings account is funded.

Purchase Insurance and Warranties

Another important step to take to prepare for the unexpected is to purchase insurance and warranties. A home warranty from a company like America’s Preferred Home Warranty can cover most or all expenses related to breakdowns and deficiencies in the home. 

There are also multiple types of insurance coverage that you should consider purchasing for additional financial protection. These include home insurance, life insurance, auto insurance and more. Ensure that you have adequate coverage with an affordable deductible so that you can maximize the benefits of your insurance policies as needed.

You cannot always control the events in your life, and some unexpected events can create tremendous expenses with no advance notice. While you may not know when things will happen or what those things will be, you can follow these tips to financially prepare yourself for the unexpected.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Getting Medical Bills Under Control With Freedom Financial Asset Management

Sudden medical bills or expenses can be forced on us without any option for getting the best value. You can’t simply shop around for the best deal when you’re having a heart attack in the emergency room.

The truth is that you receive the bill in your mailbox some time later and must deal with it after the fact. Unlike comparison shopping on different websites, the amount you have to pay has already been determined. The next couple of steps look like this:
  • Try to negotiate down the amount or establish some type of payment plan
  • Figure out how you’re going to pay it

Don’t pass up the opportunity to call the hospital or your doctor’s office and try to negotiate down the total bill. Let them know you fully intend to pay. There isn’t a 100% guarantee they will reduce your bill, but if you don’t ask you might be leaving money on the table.

Once you have some type of payment plan in place through discussions with the hospital or doctor’s office, you’ll need to start making regular payments.

These payments are usually made using a credit card with a high interest rate. In fact, a 2015 Federal Reserve report found that 38% of Americans use their credit cards to pay off medical debt.

This is not a situation you want to find yourself in. Freedom Financial Asset Management could help by providing more affordable options for managing debt expenses.

A More Affordable Method For Paying Medical Bills

The same Federal Reserve study found that 46% of Americans would be in a bind if they were hit with an unexpected $400 expense. They would have to borrow or sell something to pay for it.

Not having a plan for how you’ll pay sudden medical expenses can you leave you scrambling. Often, you end up with some of the worst options. There are much better alternatives to pay these sudden expenses.

Freedom Financial Asset Management provides APRs that range from 4.99% to 29.99%. Unlike interest rate alone, APR is the full loan cost. Terms on these loans range from 2 - 5 years, giving you plenty of time to pay off the loan.

There may be an origination fee, which can range from 0% to 5% of the loan value. There’s also no prepayment penalty. Meaning, you can pay off the loan at any time without incurring an additional fee.

This type of loan can be a great option compared to other alternatives such as a high rate credit cards for paying down medical expenses.

If the above sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry. Freedom Financial Asset Management offers great customer service (they have a Better Business Bureau A+ rating) and will make sure you get the best financing possible for your situation.

Medical Bills And Your Credit Score

Overdue medical bills that are reported to the credit bureaus can have a large negative impact on your credit score. How credit scores are used is in fluctuation right now, but you count on unpaid medical bills having a negative impact.

Even worse than an unpaid medical bill is when a debt goes into collections. This is one of the worst cases and should be avoided.

Another drawback of using a credit card to pay expenses is that it is no longer categorized as a medical expense. This means you’ll lose medical bill protection in the latest iteration of credit scoring (specifically FICO credit scoring).

Freedom Financial Asset Management is not a credit card company and does not have the same draw back when it comes to FICO credit scoring medical protection.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Injured Doesn’t Have to Mean Poor: How to Effectively Save Cash on Medical Expenses

Medical bills top the list of the things that most people dread. Even with health insurance, they always end up spending more than they have planned for and it is utterly frustrating. 

Most individuals can affirm that huge medical expenses are the fastest routes to bankruptcy. Making some changes can transform such situations. Do you want to spend less and save more? Here are a few steps that can be quite helpful when carefully considered.

Weigh All Your Options

You have to do some serious bargaining if you want to land on the best deal. For instance, whenever you want to get a test or procedure done, ensure that you compare the prices of different medical practitioners. 

This allows you to settle for someone who is not unreasonably expensive. In addition to this, you can ask if they can give you a discount. If you are in an adverse financial position, talk to the person who is in charge to see if they can allow you to pay less. This way, you don't have to part with everything in your pockets.

Ensure That Bills are Processed Accurately

Sometimes, when your bills are not processed correctly, you end up spending way more than you should. It doesn't hurt to be keen. Always take some time to review your bills and ensure that no mistakes have been made. 

In case of any errors, have the bill reprocessed and you might be able to save some dollars. Confirm that you need medical care before paying for it. It's okay to seek medical assistance when you are unwell, but it is also wise to confirm that you need the help before paying the bills. 

You might be diagnosed with a fatal disease one day only to realize that it was a mistake the next day. Seek the opinion of another expert and have all the tests redone to avoid paying for the treatment of a nonexistent disease.

Pest Control

Another effective way of saving on medical expenses is controlling pests in your home. Pests are one of the main reasons why we fall sick and controlling them is a safe way to minimize the amount of money that you spend on medical bills. 

For instance, pest control in Utah County, or in other areas, always helps control infestations and other pest problems. Ensure that you use the right household pesticides and when using them, be cautious to enhance safety.

Purchase Generic Prescriptions

It is advisable to buy generic medicines. According to Food and Drug administration, they are safe, helpful and cheaper. You can also go for over-the-counter prescriptions since they are less expensive than their brand-name equivalents and still as useful. After all, your goal is to get the right treatment even after spending less.

Always Have Current Health Insurance

In as much as you might wish to avoid paying for your health insurance, it is very critical. People have found themselves in devastating situations due to lack of medical insurance. 

Seek some protection so that you'll be safe in case something happens; like an accident that could wipe out all your credit cards. Again, this is an appropriate way of saving for your medical expenses.

Talk to Your Doctor

Doctors and other medical experts are willing to help you get the best. For instance, if you are faced with an expensive test or treatment that your insurance does not cover, ask them if it is needed. If it is necessary, can they charge you less? This might help you save some money.

Medical expenses don't have to be the reason why you remain poor or spend more than you even make. People make plans to make things better; apply strategies that will help you spend less on your medical treatment.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Health Finances: 3 Ways To Bundle And Save On Medical Expenses

Despite the controversy that still surrounds Obamacare and its possible replacement, there's one thing almost everyone can agree upon: Healthcare is expensive. 

Even with a good insurance plan, medical expenses can add up fast. Between premiums, deductibles and copays, many people are left with costly medical bills or simply avoid seeking treatment altogether.

The good news is that there are ways to save even if you don't have the best coverage out there. By bundling healthcare services and making some informed choices, you can learn how to save on medical expenses and keep you and any dependents covered stress-free.

3 Ways to Save on Medical Expenses: Bundle Payments

Health insurance payment bundling is a payment structure that allows you to pay a fixed fee for all the treatments and services pertaining to a particular condition rather than paying for each one individually. 

You can speak to your health insurance provider about their stance on bundled payments; most of the time, payment bundling is offered through employer-sponsored health insurance as a means of cutting costs and providing better care to employees.

Stick to In-Network Providers

Depending on the type of health insurance you have, there may be high costs for visiting physicians and specialists outside of your health insurance network.

Stick to the doctors in your plan's network to avoid paying anything except your co-pay. If you want to visit an eye care professional or other type of specialist, you'll have to see whether or not your plan includes vision services and treatments. 

If not, you can investigate vision insurance plans that will drastically lower the cost of eyewear and eye-related services.

Ask for Discounts and Consider Paying in Cash

If you ask for discounts at hospitals and healthcare providers like All About Eyes, you may find that you qualify for them depending on the circumstance. 

These discounts aren't readily available to people through their insurance providers, so you have to take the initiative and investigate.

You should also consider paying for some services or prescription medications in cash. Surprisingly, wholesale providers like Costco and Sam's Club offer many prescription drugs that are cheaper to buy outright than through insurance.

Cutting Down Medical Costs

Because the healthcare industry is constantly fluctuating and facing a major upheaval over the next year, finding a good plan can be a challenge. 

Payment bundling is more prominent by healthcare providers than ever before, so ask your current provider what type of conditions qualify for payment bundling. 

If you just need ways to save on medical expenses for routine care, ask for discounts, explore your options and openly communicate with your healthcare provider. There are often discounts and other opportunities to save that you might not have been told about when you signed up.

If your current plan isn't cutting it, check out private plans and compare free online quotes from multiple providers. 

At the end of the day, medical expenses are one of those necessities we can't avoid, but we can take measures to ensure our health doesn't have to cost us more than just feeling good.

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