Finance

What You Can Do to Avoid Medical Debt


The reality of living in modern America is also the reality that medical debt is real. Unless you happen to be in a financial position where such debt isn’t a worry whatsoever, the vast majority of Americans are in real danger of suffering from a serious, debilitating emergency that can bankrupt them. Here’s how you can avoid it.

Keep Emergency Savings

Preparation is key. There are a lot of great reasons you should keep emergency savings, of course – emergencies of all kinds may require some quick funds, and the good thing about a savings account is that it is flexible. You can use it for whatever given emergency comes up, from a car breaking down to a broken arm. Unfortunately, in a medical context, you may or may not be able to save for the more expensive emergencies. Certainly, with a savings account, you will likely be able to cover deductibles or the out-of-pocket costs for more routine prescriptions and operations – but certain large-scale procedures might be tens of thousands of dollars. And especially if your medical payments must be done regularly instead of in a single payment, you may find that your account drains quickly.

Get Insurance

Insurance is probably the most dependable way to keep yourself out of medical debt. That being said, it still can be very hard – insurance companies are well-known to have contractual technicalities that can keep them from having to pay for you under certain situations. But there also may be times when your incredibly expensive operations will be covered when they otherwise wouldn’t have been. Look for jobs with health insurance and dental insurance plans and benefits if you can’t afford medical insurance. As an alternative, you can use a dental discount plan to reduce the costs of services.

Know Your Resources

There are many avenues you can take if you find yourself in a tight financial situation following a medical emergency, without a savings fund or insurance. There are organizations and charities set up that are devoted to helping those who are in need overcome medical debt. For example, the HealthWell Foundation and the PAN Foundation are devoted to doing exactly that. It is also common for healthcare providers (i.e., hospitals) to have options where they reduce or drop medical bills for those in need.

Medical debt can be scary, and also the last thing you need when you’re in the middle of a hard emotional situation like a medical emergency. That’s why it’s important to think about and plan for emergencies beforehand. Take the necessary financial steps, and you will be in the best position you can be to avoid a disaster.

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