The cost of medical care in the U.S. is notoriously high.
This is glaringly evident in the 2017 Comparative Price Report from the International Federation of Health Plans. In every factor used for comparison, including drug and hospital admission prices for different types of medical conditions, people in countries like the UK, Australia, and Switzerland pay a fraction of the price Americans pay for the same products and services.
Even if you have health insurance, which in itself could be expensive, you could end up with thousands of dollars in medical bills for one hospital visit in the U.S. This results in hefty medical debt, which 32 percent of working Americans have.
The issue of medical debt is an unfortunate one. Not only do you have to worry over your health, but you also have to wonder how you’re going to pay for the medical attention you need.
But just as abundant as your medical bills are ways to pay them. Below, we discuss your options for financing medical debt.
1. Health insurance
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 8.5 percent of Americans or about 27.5 million people do not have health insurance. But if you’re one of the people fortunate enough to have an insurance plan, it’s your best defense against steep medical debt.
If you still don’t have health insurance, it’s important to choose a plan that fits your needs.
If you’re more prone to illnesses and injuries, for example, you might need a more robust insurance plan. You may pay higher premiums monthly, but you’d thank yourself if you don’t have a huge out-of-pocket cost to cover if you get hospitalized.
2. Personal loan
You would reach out to a mortgage lender or the bank if you need funds to fix your home so why not do the same for your medical bills? If you have an excellent credit score, you might choose to take out a personal loan to pay for your medical expenses.
You can get a low-interest personal loan with affordable monthly payments if you have a good credit score. Personal loans also buy you time, allowing you to spread out the payment of hefty medical bills instead of paying them all in one go.
3. Medical credit cards
Like the regular credit card you use for shopping, you can use medical credit cards to pay for medical services that you need.
While there aren’t a lot of options available, and they don’t cover all your medical expenses, they can help offset the cost of care and let you save up to pay for your medical debt. Some medical credit cards also offer deferred interest, so you may get a 0% card as long as you pay your dues on time.
4. Health savings account
A health savings account (HSA) is like a personal savings account but used solely to pay for your healthcare expenses.
To get one, you must have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) since an HSA’s purpose is to cover the out-of-pocket costs you need to pay. One advantage of going the HSA route is because your contributions, withdrawals, and interest are tax-free.
Medical bills are some of the highest expenses you will have to pay in your life. With your health on the line, it’s important to find a payment solution that fits your lifestyle and the medical attention you require.