Medical Debt Resources: Get Help Affording and Paying for Healthcare
If you are worried you can’t pay for healthcare, you aren’t alone. Nearly everyone is affected by medical debt: even those with insurance can struggle to pay medical bills, and every year as many as 1 in 5 Americans have trouble covering their healthcare expenses. it is the most common cause of bankruptcy in the United States, even more so than consumer debt.
Whether or not you already have health insurance, there are resources available to help you make ends meet, and get the medical treatment you and your family need. The following information can help you deal with everything from debt collectors, to gaps in insurance coverage, and even how to negotiate bills with the hospital.
Table of Contents
- 1 Healthcare Finances 101
- 2 Medical Bill Basics: How to Pay for Healthcare
- 3 How to Handle Medical Debt: Forgiveness and Financial Assistance
- 4 Know Your Rights: Dealing With Debt Collectors and Protecting Yourself
- 5 Medical Debt Resources for Veterans and Military Dependents
- 6 Myths About Doctors’ Salaries and Medical School
Healthcare Finances 101
Medicine is full of jargon, and unfortunately that extends to the billing, insurance, and other financial elements of healthcare. We have put this glossary together to help you understand the most common terms and topics you’ll have to deal with when navigating hospital bills and medical debt.
Medical Bill Basics: How to Pay for Healthcare
Even if you have insurance or can afford to see the doctor, medical billing can still be confusing and frustrating. Having insurance doesn’t necessarily make healthcare more affordable, but there are still ways you can pay your bills and work out more reasonable payments plans that accommodate your financial situation. The following resources offer some actionable tips and insights to help you take care of hospital bills, and pay for the care you need.
- Using Your Credit Card to Pay Medical Bills: What You Need to Know
- How to Pay for Healthcare Without Insurance
- Paying Medical Bills With Your HSA
- Social Security Disability Benefits Explained
- Never Pay More Than You Owe: How to Spot Billing Errors and Dispute Medical Bills
- Negotiating Medical Bills, Debts, and Payment Plans
- The Cost of Calling an Ambulance and How to Negotiate the Bill
How to Handle Medical Debt: Forgiveness and Financial Assistance
Regardless of whether you have health insurance, outstanding medical debt, or simply need a little help to get your finances back on track, you have options. The following resources outline where you can go for help with some of the most common challenges related to affording healthcare or managing medical debt.
- How to Find Free Clinics and Affordable Healthcare Centers
- Get Your Medical Debt Forgiven: Charities That Can Help
- How to Deal With and Eliminate Your Medical Bills
- How to Remove Medical Debt From Your Credit Report
Know Your Rights: Dealing With Debt Collectors and Protecting Yourself
Healthcare debt may be common, but having outstanding bills and debt doesn’t mean you have no rights. There are strict rules about the consequences for having medical debt, as well as regulations governing collections agencies, and protections for you as a patient and as a consumer. The following resources can help you make sense of what collectors can and can’t do, and what you can do to protect and advocate for yourself when you have medical debt.
- Consequences for Unpaid Medical Bills: What Can and Can’t Happen If You Don’t Pay
- Can You Be Sued Over Medical Debt? What You Need to Know
- How Medical Debt Can Affect Your Credit Score (and What To Do About It)
- Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: An Overview
- Disability Discharge: Getting Student Loans Forgiven After an Accident
Medical Debt Resources for Veterans and Military Dependents
If you are active or former military, or the family of someone with a service record, the healthcare system can work a little differently for you. You may be navigating both the Veterans Administration and regular hospitals, and dealing with both federal benefits and private insurance. There are additional resources and assistance programs just for you, which we’ve outlined below.
- Medical Care Basics for Veterans and Their Dependents
- VA Benefits vs Private Insurance Coverage
- Emergency Care for Veterans: VA, Hospitals, and Urgent Care Clinics
- Get Help With Medical Debt: Resources for Veterans
- Student Loan Discharge for Veterans: VA Total and Permanent Disability Information
Myths About Doctors’ Salaries and Medical School
Despite persistent rumors, the salaries of doctors and other healthcare providers are not the main driver of healthcare costs. Medical school can be exorbitantly expensive, and physicians, nurses, dentists, and other providers often have significant student debt even after years of working. If you want to learn what it is really like to become a provider, or are interested in some of the myths about provider pay and healthcare costs, the following articles should shine some light on the subject.