Medical debt is often something you do not expect. It can add up fast, too. Once you start receiving bills, it can become overwhelming, even if you have health insurance.
Drowning in medical debt is not an ideal situation you want to find yourself in. Luckily, there are a few options you have to try to manage that debt before it gets out of control. Money Under 30 cautions you should never use credit cards to pay off the debt as that will lead to further money troubles. Instead, you should look into your options.
Secure financial assistance
Most hospitals and other facilities will offer a financial assistance program. If you do not have the money to pay and it will be a financial burden, you can usually apply for the program. This can help you to save a lot on your bill and secure payments you can afford.
Set up a payment plan
You should be able to negotiate a payment plan with your provider. Make sure you do this quickly before the provider hands your account over to a collection agency. You will generally have less luck convincing a collection agency to work with you.
You may be able to get the provider to offer an interest-free payment plan or even forgive a portion of your debt. Most plans will offer small, affordable payments as well. If you have the money, you could pay it in a lump sum, which may result in a large discount, but you will need to negotiate that. Also, do not be afraid to ask for discounts on the charges to help lower your bill.
Get a loan
If you can qualify, you could get a personal loan to pay your medical debt. This should be the last step. While loan terms are more agreeable than credit card terms, you will still end up creating new debt. You will not actually fix your situation by using a loan. However, it can be better than letting your account go to a collection agency.
The best advice when it comes to medical debt is to address it quickly and do not ignore it.