Health care costs are nothing short of exorbitant, especially if you don’t have healthcare benefits. If you are lucky enough to have sufficient medical insurance coverage, your costs might be lower, but that doesn’t change the fact that medical costs are rising.
On the flip side, over half of the country is relegated to sub-par medical insurance plans, while still many others go without any medical coverage at all. For them, a sudden medical emergency can very well compel these people to seek out debt consolidation options. However, even in the wake of this heavy reality, there remain financial aid programs for people in monetary trouble. In fact, many hospitals maintain financial assistance departments to help with just that.
If your annual income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level, you may qualify for complete elimination of your medical bills. However, if you do not meet these requirements, you may still be eligible for a reduced bill. Generally speaking, if your medical bills exceed 30 percent of your annual gross income, then you may be able to get assistance using the hospital’s financial aid resources.
It is important to note that medical debt-to-income ratios vary. In addition, you only qualify for financial assistance when all your options are exhausted. You are likely to not get financial aid if you have not used your medical insurance, or have not applied for public medical benefits first.
Application for reduction
Contact the hospital’s billing office to talk about your options. If the hospital can provide assistance to financially struggling patients, you need to submit documents to prove your annual income and other assets, such as any savings accounts, CDs, IRAs etc. If you are jobless or have no assets, you may have to have an affidavit stating that fact. Expect to be bombarded with paperwork. However, if it helps you clear or reduce your medical bill obligations, it could be worth it.
Another option to help reduce your medical debt comes in the form of medical financing. There are a variety of medical financing companies who will help you stretch out your payments, acting very much like a credit card company. When you stretch out payments over time in this manner, you can apply larger payments such as bonuses, or a large tax refund to eliminate your debt even further.
Of course, consolidating your bills using a personal or home equity loan is another way to cut your medical debt and consolidate it into a smaller, more manageable payment.
The trick is figuring out which financial solution works best for you when it comes to reducing your medical bills. Since no situation is identical, personalize yours for best results.