In the age of profit-driven healthcare, receiving medical attention for reasonable prices can prove tricky. With insurance premiums on the increase and hospital costs skyrocketing, a trip to the doctor always seems to put a dent in your bank account. Fortunately, there are a number of simple ways to reduce healthcare costs; you just have to know where to look.
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If you’re unable to afford health insurance as a result of financial strain or a pre-existing condition, you can get the care you need without breaking the bank at a reliable not-for-profit hospital. These hospitals cater to uninsured and underinsured individuals and charge very little for their services. Depending on your financial situation, you may even receive certain services free of charge. This isn’t to say that the care you receive at these hospitals is in any way inferior to the services provided at for-profit institutions. With staffs comprised of experienced doctors, nurses, and surgeons, you’ll receive the same quality care at a fraction of the cost.
Much to the surprise of many healthcare consumers, a fair number of for-profit hospitals offer financial aid programs to the uninsured and underinsured. If you’re curious about whether or not your local hospital provides such programs, place a call to its financial aid department and learn what your options are. Most hospital-sponsored financial aid programs apply across-the-board discounts to your medical bills based on how much money you make and the quality of your insurance. In some cases, you may even be eligible for a 100% discount. In addition, many financial aid programs are retroactive, so the discounts for which you are eligible can be applied to past bills as well as future ones.
Under the new healthcare law, all Americans are now required to have some form of health insurance. To simplify the search for the right insurance provider, pay a visit to the government-sponsored healthcare marketplace. After providing some basic personal details and income-related information, you’ll be greeted with a list of plans for which you qualify. The price you’ll pay for these plans is determined by your income. For example, if a certain plan is $250 a month, you may only wind up paying $50 for it. Reviewing your options can be a bit of chore, but as you’ll find, the satisfaction of being insured is well worth the effort.
Haggle With Your Doctor
When it comes to dealing with exorbitant healthcare costs, don’t let shyness get the best of you. If you think a certain bill is too high, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about giving you a discount. Healthcare providers are very familiar with the financial toll medical bills take on certain patients, and many of them have no qualms about providing discounts to financially-troubled individuals. In lieu of a discount, your doctor may also be open to the idea of working out an affordable payment plan with you.
In the quest to reduce medical costs, it pays to explore your options. There’s plenty of financial aid out there for healthcare consumers willing to put forth a little effort.