Where to Get Financial Assistance for Medical Treatment
No matter how carefully you plan and adjust your budget, sometimes unexpected expenses arise. Under ideal circumstances, you would have some money tucked away in an emergency savings account, but when you don’t have a savings account or when the balance in that account won’t cover the bills, you need to turn elsewhere.
When your unexpected expense is for medical treatment, that adds a level of urgency and stress to finding a payment solution. Read on to discover where to get financial assistance for medical treatments.
If you’re the patient, then a second job probably isn’t an option. However, if you’re responsible for someone else’s medical bills, you might need to consider taking on part-time work to bulk up your savings.
Always ask your doctor or hospital if there is a payment plan available. Very often, they will volunteer this information. If they have a payment plan that works for you, then grab it. Just make sure you read the fine print and ask:
- Can I afford the monthly payments?
- How much am I paying in interest?
- Is there a prepayment penalty?
- What happens if I miss a payment?
If your doctor doesn’t offer a payment plan, check your credit card. If you have a good annual percentage rate (APR) and a high enough credit limit, then consider paying by credit card. Since you already have this credit card accounted for on your budget, you’ll just need to adjust it with the new total amount.
You can also look for a no-interest credit card. These generally have limited timelines, like 0% interest if you pay off the balance within 12 months. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the balance in the timeline, then you will be charged interest. Again, make sure to read all the fine print before signing anything.
There are some nonprofit organizations that offer grants to help people pay their medical bills. There are specific income guidelines, but it’s worth a phone call. Do your research online or go to your local library where a librarian should be able to help you to find contact information. Remember, some of these nonprofits are geared towards children or specific diseases.
You can always ask friends and family members to chip in. Use a crowdfunding site to reach out beyond your closest group of acquaintances. Often people feel helpless when they hear about an illness. Well, this is your answer to, “What can I do to help?” Just pass along the link to your site. Tell your friends that a small donation would be more meaningful than flowers or a casserole.
Ask if your bank offers personal loans. If they don’t, you still have options.
There are loan businesses that are not banks. You may have seen advertisements for loans against your paycheck or your car title. These companies also offer easy installment loans. They won’t require you to sign over your car title, but there will be restriction in the amount you can borrow.
Pay close attention to the fine print. Make sure you understand the APR and the actual amount you will be repaying. As with all interest loans, you pay back more than your borrow. If you need the loan and you understand the risks, this may be an option for you.
Whether you need thousands of dollars for one specific medical procedure or you need ongoing assistance covering your co-pays, consider the options above until you’re able to expand your budget.
By following the advice listed, you can be on your way to ensuring that your medical expenses are covered and that your finances are able to keep you afloat. Make sure that when you are researching new ways to get financial assistance, that you are aware of the fine print and the policies.
Robert Martin is a freelance writer and a financial advisor from Los Alamitos, California. With over 10 years of professional experience in the finance industry, he has helped hundreds of private clients attain their financial freedom by exposing them to assistance in the form of long-term investments, easy installment loans, and monthly budgeting. When he is not busy helping others with their finances, he enjoys writing and reading.