Trips to the emergency room can be expensive. Just an ambulance ride alone can cost over $1000. Because of this, many people take a “wait and see” approach to issues that may need immediate care. This can be a high-stakes game of roulette resulting in disability or even death. With the following options, you can rest assured you can afford the care you need.
Use Urgent Care
For potentially life-threatening issues, definitely go to the emergency room. However, for smaller issues such as a mystery cough that you worry could be pneumonia (but could just as easily be allergies) go to your local Urgent Care office instead. They often charge less for the same services.
Analyze the Bill
To prevent being overcharged, don’t begin payments on your bill until you ask for a list with the expenses itemized. This way, you can see exactly what you are paying for. If you came into the hospital complaining about chest pain, you should see equipment and tests that relate to that issue. If you are mistakenly billed for expenses related to conditions such as childbirth or a broken bone, you can ask those items to be removed from your bill.
If you were too flustered to remember the finer details of your treatment and are unsure if what is on your bill is valid, ask staff to review the itemized list for you. If you are still unsure, or do not trust their assessment, ask the hospital to audit your bill.
Ask About Discounts
If you do not have health insurance, be sure to mention this when you are given your bill. Some hospitals charge things differently in these cases, and you may have your bill reduced. If you can prove you are in financial need, they may offer discounts to make your bill more manageable.
Get a Loan or Line of Credit
For some treatments, your hospital may ask for payment upfront. If you don’t have the money, they may release you when you are deemed stable. Even having insurance isn’t always a guarantee you will receive further care.
If you have bad credit and your bank is unwilling to give you a loan to help with costs, there are several credit cards available solely to make medical procedures accessible to lower-income patients. Online lenders such as MaxLend also will provide funds quickly regardless of your credit score.
Overwhelmingly MaxLend reviews emphasize how expedient the service is. Application can be done over the phone or online.
Ask About Payment Plans
Most hospital bills can be paid in monthly increments Ask to meet with a representative of your hospital’s billing department to discuss your financial limitations and what is achievable for you. They may be able to craft a payment plan that you can afford. Better still, payment plans through your hospital may even be interest-free.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and assert your needs to the hospital. You will be putting yourself in a position to better care for yourself and your family long after the doctors have patched you up.