What You Can Do About Rising Medical Bills

Medical bills can be incurred from accidents or illnesses. You may need emergency care if you’ve been in a car accident, suffered a stroke, or had a heart attack. You may also require medical treatment if you’re diagnosed with an illness.


The cost of medical care is prohibitive. In addition to the cost of treatment, you may have to purchase prescriptions and pay for tests or therapy that isn’t covered under your insurance plan. Many medications prescribed to treat cancer have an annual cost of $100,000. In the United States, medical costs associated with pregnancy and childbirth typically exceed $10,000. If you’re struggling with rising medical costs, you can use these tips to manage your medical expenses.


Determine if you qualify for a viatical settlement.



What is a viatical settlement? A viatical settlement is an option for any terminally ill patient whose life expectancy is two years or less. Instead of turning your life insurance policy in for its cash value, you sell your life insurance policy to a buyer and receive a viatical settlement. In exchange for your policy, the buyer pays you a single cash payment that exceeds your policy’s cash value.


Although your payment will be less than the benefit amount of your policy, the buyer assumes responsibility for any outstanding policy payments, and the money you receive from the sale is tax-free. The buyer becomes the beneficiary of your policy, which means that your beneficiaries won’t receive the policy benefits when you pass away. With a viatical settlement, you can access a large amount of cash quickly and reduce your monthly expenses at the same time. If you’re interested in pursuing a viatical settlement, contact a viatical settlement company. Viatical settlement companies can confirm you’re eligible and locate a buyer for your policy.


There are no restrictions that apply to the funds you receive from a viatical settlement. You can use the money to pay for your medical care and cover personal expenses. Whether you’re hoping to finance specialist care or want to cover the cost of chronic care management, you’re free to use your viatical settlement however you choose.


Consider pursuing a life settlement.



Viatical settlements are only available for terminally ill individuals. If you don’t qualify for a viatical settlement, you can consider a life settlement. With a life settlement, you sell your insurance policy for a single cash payment. The buyer assumes responsibility for outstanding policy payments and becomes the policy’s beneficiary. There are two distinct differences between viatical and life settlements. You do not have to be terminally ill to pursue a life settlement, but you will receive less money than viatical settlements pay. However, the amount you’ll receive for the life settlement will be greater than the cash value of your insurance policy.


Stop the debt collection process.



Whether you owe money or not, you still have legal rights. Research The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to learn about debt collection law and determine how it may apply to your situation. You may benefit from Googling “Your Legal Rights Advocates” to learn about legal advocates who can help you navigate this process. You can stop the debt collection process by challenging the debt. Your creditor is obligated to stop the collection process and confirm you owe the money. This is one way of alleviating the stress caused by calls from collection agencies.


It’s also a good idea to scrutinize each alleged debt. You may not be responsible for every claim.


Explore your legal options.



You may have grounds for compensation due to the circumstances that led to your medical bills. For example, if you were injured in a car accident and another driver was at fault, you may qualify for compensation. The other driver may be responsible for your medical costs and compensation for pain and suffering due to the accident. Contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal rights if you were injured in an accident.


There may also be grounds for a lawsuit if you were injured at work and your employer’s negligence caused your injuries. Talk to a personal injury lawyer who handles work injury cases. Personal injury attorneys typically offer a free consultation and can assess your case’s merits and determine whether you would benefit from pursuing legal action.


Apply for benefits.



You may qualify for government benefits. If you were injured on the job, you might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation pays a portion of your typical take-home salary and covers medical costs stemming from your injury. Although you may qualify for workers’ compensation, you may need to negotiate to ensure all of your medical expenses are covered.


Your illness or injury may result in short-term or long-term disability. You may qualify for disability payments based on your condition and should apply for benefits as soon as possible.


You may also qualify to receive Medicare if you’re eligible for disability payments. If you lose your job, you may be eligible to receive Medicaid. Your children may also be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if you meet the program’s income requirements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also offers financial aid to individuals with financial challenges caused by medical issues.


You can also apply for food stamps. This is a government benefit program that helps low-income people afford groceries. Reducing your living expenses can help you cover your medical bills.


Apply for assistance from nonprofit organizations.



Several nonprofit organizations offer financial and practical assistance to individuals with medical needs. Organizations such as CancerCare provide financial aid to people with cancer. CancerCare also offers help covering insurance copays.


You may also qualify for pharmaceutical patient assistance programs. These programs help people without health insurance access to affordable medications and may also cover the cost of some prescriptions.


Nonprofit organizations also offer practical assistance. You may be able to see a social worker or counselor through CancerCare. Other organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, offer transportation to medical appointments.


Medical issues can produce financial challenges that compound the stress caused by your healthcare needs. There are several options you can consider to access funds to help offset your medical bills. Whether you choose to sell your life insurance policy, pursue benefits, or take legal action, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your medical bills.