You don’t need us to tell you about the importance of health insurance. We’re all aware that omitting this monthly cost is sure to come back and bite us along the way. No matter how healthy you are, one hospital stay could set you back more than insurance ever would.

But, with policy prices pretty steep, insurance isn’t a luxury we can all afford. What’s more, since Trump’s presidency began, upwards of 3 million people have had to drop their plans. 2017 saw the most significant change in one year since 2008. And, it leads the way for a new and uncertain time for many. So, if you’re facing life without health insurance right now, you’re not alone.

Sadly, when you aren’t insured, it can often seem as though your only option is to save whatever money you can manage. Many people take this route because the flexibility of saving what suits fits their lifestyles. But, the reality is that one length hospital stay could more than clear even a healthy bank balance. Besides which, many would argue against using their hard-earned savings on medical costs.

That begs the question of how you can cover an uninsured hospital stay while still keeping your savings intact. While it isn’t easy, it is possible. And, we’re going to look at how.

Shop around

Shopping around is something you do for a new pair of shoes or the perfect pair of jeans. You shop around for a holiday or a home. But, few of us think of doing the same thing when it comes to healthcare. In reality, though, the prices between healthcare providers do vary a fair amount. And, given that every bit counts, it’s well worth shopping around before settling on a hospital. Admittedly, this isn’t always possible in an emergency. But, even if you’re taken to one hospital, you can ask to move the moment you’re stable. It’s amazing how much difference your shopping efforts could make for an extended stay. Even a hospital which charges $1 extra for each treatment could set you back much more by the end of your time. So, never settle. Search around. During your research, you’ll come to see which prices are average, and thus which ones are most reasonable.

Ask yourself who’s to blame

There isn’t always someone to blame for injury or illness. Sometimes, we just get sick without rhyme or reason. And, if that’s the case for you, this point won’t help your cause. But, when you get into thinking about why you’re in the hospital, you may often find that someone else is to blame. If might be that you’re sick because of air pollution in your local area. Or, you might have fallen over in your workplace, or even out in public. It might even be that your doctor has misdiagnosed you and led to your hospitalisation. And, if you suspect any of these might be to blame for your hospital stay, the money shouldn’t come out of your pocket at all. Instead, you should take legal action to gain the compensation you deserve. Visit Thompson Law for more information about any claims you could make, or do some research of your own. Either way, gaining legal representation could be all it takes to ensure your hospital bills are taken care of. While this may be the last thing you want to do while you’re unwell, acting fast is essential. The longer you leave this, the less chance you have of receiving a decent settlement. At the very least, you should get friends and family members to pursue this path for you.

Set up a payment plan

It’s also worth remembering that hospitals are there to help you. These are caring organizations which only want to do their best. They aren’t like the bank or loan providers. So, be open and honest about your financial situation the moment you receive your bill. Phone the hospital as soon as you can to talk through options for a payment plan. You need to act fast here, as many hospitals take action against unpaid bills in as little as 90 days. What’s more, some charge interest for late payments, and that’ll end up setting you back more. Instead, phone up and come to a payment agreement you can meet. Near enough every hospital will allow you to pay in monthly amounts until your debt is cleared. Many don’t even charge interest for this service if you’re open and forthcoming. So, don’t be afraid. That bill may seem bad when it first lands on your doorstep, but it might not be as painful as you think.

Seek assistance

It’s also important to note that there’s plenty of financial assistance out there for uninsured individuals. In some cases, it’s possible to apply for financial aid, especially where children are concerned. And, that’s not the only help out there, either. Free clinics are also worth your attention, as are non-profit hospitals. Admittedly, you will have to pay some fee if your income is high enough. But, this will be nothing compared to standard medical costs. Again, being open and honest here is your best bet. Even general practitioners and standard hospitals can sometimes offer a discounted rate. However, this is often something you don’t get unless you ask before admission. So, make sure either you or a loved one seeks out any possible discounts. In some cases, you may be able to get as much as 20% off your bill. And, with substantial medical costs, that could be a huge relief just when you need it.

A final word

When you’re unwell enough for hospitalization, money is the last thing you want to think about. But, it’s essential if you’re going to avoid getting stung down the line. Get this right, and you might not have to dip into your saving funds at all. Even if you do, the damage will be a lot less after taking these steps than it would have been otherwise.

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