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List: Posted: 12/10/10
In today's economy, everything is expensive. Health care is certainly no exception. Finding ways to finance medical care and basic health care can be a daunting task on a tight budget. One thing to remember is that many of these high bills are negotiable. Most medical providers understand that times are tough and are willing to negotiate to help you afford your bills.
You might also talk to your health care provider about payment plans as a way to tackle higher medical bills. This can give you the time you need to pay off more expensive health care bills. You'll also want to make sure you check all of your medical bills for accuracy, and that you're not being charged for the wrong procedures. Clerical mistakes can and do happen, so it's important to make sure you protect your financial future by checking your health care bills.
If you don't think you can afford the health care you or your family needs, you might also consider local options for assistance. Most local governments have agencies designed to help people on a low income get the medical care they need, such as Medicare. There are many free clinics in your city or town which provide basic health care and Family Planning for the uninsured, homeless, those on very low-incomes, or currently unemployed. These clinics will usually ask for proof of income in the form of your last 3 bank statements, so don't forget to take copies of these along to your first appointment. One tip for free clinics - be aware that many other people will be assigned the same appointment time as you and they will be served in the order they arrived and signed in. So arrive early, bring a book or magazine and be prepared for a long wait (sometimes 1-3 hours, depending on the day of the week and popularity of your local clinic). This kind of care is not recommended for very young children or babies, unless this is literally your last resort.
Don't forget, when setting the family budget, to always include health care costs in your savings plan. This can help you avoid unexpected medical costs that you can't afford. With so many people experiencing job loss, it's also a good idea to get insurance to protect against health-related job loss also. Short-term disability can be a great way to help you afford the health care you'll need if something unexpected happens. If you're still having trouble with your health care bills, you might consider the option of a credit counselor to help you deal with these extra costs.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Local.com. See Additional Information