In this article, we look at some of the top Government Programs to Help Pay Medical Bills. Many people view their medical debt as a personal failure and feel ashamed of it. In actuality, it affects a larger population. There may be up to $140 billion in unpaid medical debt owed by all Americans.
The two main causes of the expanding medical debt issue are a lack of insurance and continually rising healthcare costs. What if you’re unable to afford your medical bills? What if you’ve racked up medical debt and are unable to make timely payments? The results could be disastrous in both cases.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that does health policy analysis, people may choose to forgo the care they require, including doctor visits, tests, treatments, and prescription prescriptions.
They might have trouble paying other expenses, run out of savings, tarnish their credit, or even file for bankruptcy.
Some Ways to Manage Medical Debt
Many Americans choose not to pay their medical bills because they are unable to do so. 19% of American households, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, can not afford to pay for immediate medical care.
Unpaid medical bills are more prevalent in households with children than in households without children.
One of the main causes of unpaid medical debt is lack of insurance. According to estimates, 31.2 million Americans under the age of 65 lack health insurance.
They may not be able to get insurance via their jobs, or they might be self-employed and unable to pay high insurance costs. Whatever the cause, folks who need medical care might suddenly face an unmanageable financial burden if they don’t have health insurance coverage.
To pay their medical bills, people frequently put off vacations, large household purchases, and other expenses, work harder, borrow money from friends and relatives, and withdraw funds from retirement or college savings accounts. Of course, a sizable portion of medical debt is still due.
Try these strategies for debt reduction if you have medical debt that you are unable to pay so that the impact on your money, health, and future is kept to a minimum.
- Obtain Outside Assistance
Few patients are knowledgeable about medical billing. A wise decision is to seek the assistance of a medical caseworker, debt negotiator, or advocate for medical billing. When you can’t or are too afraid to try, these experts might be able to lower what you owe.
- Promote Your Own Interests
Medical Billing Advocates of America advises beginning by requesting an extreme reduction for early payment, such as “If I pay you 30% right now, will you write off the balance,” on their website. This tactic can be successful because it will save your provider time and money to not have to chase payment from you for months or years.
- Negotiate Your Bill
Speak with the medical billing manager at your healthcare provider if you want to haggle over your charge; this is the person who has the power to reduce it.
Avoid waiting until your bill is past due or in collections, when it may have an impact on your credit score. As soon as you receive your bill and have confirmed its authenticity, speak with someone.
The List of Government Programs to Help Pay Medical Bills
Millions are impacted by the unfairness of the American healthcare system, and few people can be certain they won’t experience a medical problem that goes beyond the limits of their insurance coverage and financial resources.
Make sure your medical bills are accurate, bargain for lower prices, and be aware of your legal rights when it comes to medical debt collection to exert what control you can. Get outside assistance from a professional if you are unable to complete these tasks on your own. Also, here are some government programs to help pay medical bills.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
Medicare is a federal program that gives seniors over 65 and some younger persons with disabilities medical insurance or assistance. A variety of medical requirements or procedures are covered by various Medicare programs.
Medicare offers various coverage options for the following:
- Medicare Part A covers some home health care, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and inpatient hospital stays.
- Medicare Part B: Preventative services, some doctor’s services, outpatient care, and medical supplies
- Prescription medications, including shots and vaccines, are covered under Medicare Part D.
Once you sign up for Medicare, you can choose the level of coverage you want. The sole sections of traditional Medicare are A and B. Part D is included in certain alternatives, though. Find more information here.
Extra Help is a Medicare addition that enables individuals to receive additional assistance with their prescription drug expenditures that are often not covered by the standard Medicare plan, which only comprises parts A and B.
The beneficiary must live in the United States and be a low-income Medicare recipient. Find more information here.
Supplemental Security Income
The U.S. Treasury provides basic funding for the Social Security program known as Supplemental Security Income. As opposed to other Social Security benefits, it is not dependent on employment. To eligible recipients, SSI payments are made on the first of each month. The Medicaid program is available to SSI users in some states, but not all.
Recipients must have limited access to money and be disabled, blind, or older than 65. Additionally, they need to live in the United States, be citizens or authorized residents, and not leave for more than a complete calendar month. Find more information here.
Health Insurance Marketplace
Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, makes health insurance available to those who previously lacked it, including those who are unable to obtain it through their jobs.
You can explore your Affordable Care Act alternatives and, if you’d like, enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The applicants must reside in the United States and be citizens of the United States. Find more information here.
Medicaid is a federal program that offers low-income individuals health insurance. With more than 70 million Americans receiving help, it is the largest insurance provider in the country.
Depending on age, income, household size, and disability, each state’s eligibility conditions are different. Find more information here.
Families that do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance can receive low-cost medical care through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. The Medicaid-aligned program assists families with children in paying for their medical requirements. Find more information here.
What are your thoughts about these Government Programs to Help Pay Medical Bills? Please leave a comment below.