Love. The word can cover so much and mean many different things. With it being the love month, I thought I would look at love from another angle or view. What does love look like past flowers and candy? When things get heavy, how do we show love to family (spouse/partner/children)? Specifically, what happens when a loved one is sick?
This past year my spouse has had multiple health issues and scares. I’ve spent that time showing love to ensure he can heal and gets the care he needs. Of course, I want the best for him. But in addition to that love and care, there are many more pieces that a caregiver has to handle. At the top of that list is medical debt and learning how to navigate covering them. In this blog, I’ll share some tips and resources I’ve learned along the way.
If you find your loved one and/or yourself will be losing income for an extended period of time, first think of resources to reduce expenses and offset loss of income. Some ideas are:
- Apply for Short Term Disability if you have coverage through an employer or separate policy.
- Reach out to your support network to help prepare food or set up a meal train.
- Don’t be scared to open the hospital bills as they come, being proactive is extremely important.
- Review the bills
- If you have questions call your insurance company or provider to explain what the charges are and if they are correct.
- If you are unable to pay the balances, don’t fear, you have options:
- Most providers offer financial hardship/assistance, and you can apply at no charge.
- They also offer payment plans, as another way to afford the payment instead of taking on new debts
- You may be able to negotiate with the provider:
- Be proactive when negotiating. The providers are more willing to work with you when bills are current.
- Request an itemized bill. Review the bill for accuracy.
- If you are uninsured, ask about discount programs for patients without insurance.
- Ask the provider to lower your bill. It may take several requests.
- If you feel you need support to negotiate, consider contacting Dollar For. They are a non-profit organization that specializes in helping clients lower medical bills.
Medical debt can become a burden that seems insurmountable, especially when it’s gone to collections. At Apprisen, we offer a debt management program that can help you find relief from medical collection debt. To learn more about our program or speak with one of our financial specialists, check out our service page or call us at 800-333-2227.