Although you budget carefully, unexpected medical expenses can catch you unprepared. Whether it's coming up with the money for an expensive prescription or paying for emergency dental work, you need options if you don't have the cash on hand. The following can help you pay these expenses with a minimum amount of hassle and debt.
Ask for a Payment Plan
Medical and dental offices sometimes allow patients to make payments if they cannot pay a bill in full. How this works depends on the office and the cost of your care. Some offices use a financing company, which means you have to have a good enough credit score and a high enough income to qualify. Others may self-finance, so your credit score may not matter. Be aware that payment plans often come with additional fees, so the final cost of service will be higher.
Check for Cash Prices
You can often get a discount for medical and dental services if you don't have insurance to pick up part of the tab or if you offer to pay the difference in cash. This will usually require paying the full amount up front, though, so you won't be able to set up a payment plan. Cash prices can drastically lower the cost.
Choose Providers with Sliding Scale Services
If you are in the middle- to lower-income bracket, a dentist or doctor that provides services on a sliding scale can be just what you need. These providers base their fees upon income, so those that make less pay less, and those that make more pay more. Sometimes you can use the sliding scale along with payment plans, too.
Get a Quick Loan
Most discounts depend upon your ability to pay cash immediately. If you don't have the cash on hand and you can't borrow it, then look into getting a fast-cash loan. Payday loans are one option. These small, short-term loans must be repaid on your next payday, usually within two weeks. They can provide just enough cash to cover your medical or dental bill; just make sure you budget accordingly for the repayment. Get in touch with a loan provider like EZ Check Advance for more information.
Another fast-cash loan option is to use a pawn shop. You can pawn an item of value for just enough to cover your bill, and then come and pick up the item once you have the cash to do so. Pawn loans vary in length, but you generally have anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month to pay back the loan plus interest and then retrieve your belonging.
Don't let surprise medical bills stress you out. There are options to make them more affordable so you can concentrate on healing instead of worrying about the cost.