If you want to deal with debt and make sure that after a medical treatment your health is not further affected, you must understand your medical bills first to deal with it effectively. It is then you will come to know when and how this debt can affect your mental as well as your physical health.
Typically, debt occurs when you overspend or have to spend more than you can. Either ways, you will need to look for alternative sources to get more money which in turn lead you into debt.
The same thing happens in medical bills as well. If the bill is too high that your income, savings and even your health insurance all taken together fall short, you will need to borrow money from friends, family members, and coworkers. If that does not help then you have to look for bank loans and even from online money lending sources. In short, it means that you end up in a debt situation.
If you do not understand debt, you will not be able to manage it effectively and end up finding yourself in a debt hole that has only one end, towards the abyss. Therefore, it is necessary to know about the medical bills and treatments.
Explanation of benefits
There is a distinct difference between a medical bill and an explanation of benefits, though to a common person both may seem to be the same. In most of the times, medical treatments are usually provided on advance payment basis. That means, you pay for the anticipated treatments beforehand and there are two possibilities of it such as:
- You may have to pay more in the end due to additional treatments required during the process or
- You may have a balance due if the costs are well within the advance payment that you made.
Therefore, once you receive the medical bill you must make sure that there is a proper explanation of the all the benefits and treatments provided to you during the process.
- These Explanations of Benefitsor EOBs, will tell you about all the expenses made by the healthcare provider on your behalf. Actually, the EOB will is the predecessor of the medical bills that are on the way.
- The EOB will also show how much the insurance company has reimbursed and if there is any part of the payment remaining, you can expect a medical bill from the hospital, clinic or the doctor’s office very soon.
Therefore, it is prudent that you do not make any payment when you receive the EOB rather wait to receive the final medical bill. It is not the EOB but the medical bill that will tell you about the actual amount that you owe to the healthcare provider. That means, the medical bill is the only document that will save you from overpaying.
The next best steps
Now that you have received the medical bill finally, you must follow the next best steps to make sure that you do not overpay and borrow money unnecessarily and end up in debt. These steps will eliminate the chances of getting stressed and pressed by debt which will surely and eventually cause several physical and mental health issues such as blood pressure and anxiety respectively to name a couple of it. Therefore, once you receive the bill make sure that:
- You check the items charged in the bill are in accordance with the EOB and does not include any that you may not have received or known to have received. Ask for clarification from the health care provider directly or from the billing and admin department. In most cases, medical bills are inflated purposefully or even erroneously.
- After clarification, make sure that the items included are only those that are not covered by your insurance carrier. Once again such things can happen due to the complexities in the medical billing process or errors.
- In addition to that make sure that the doctor’s office has billed your insurance company properly and only for the exact services provided. It is best that you follow this matter up with your insurance company, especially is there is any payment that they have to make is still lying unpaid.
- Lastly, look for your insurance coverage to find for any lapses or miss outs.
These proactive steps are very helpful to know that you are not overpaying for your medical treatment and save you thousands of dollars due to double payments. This will not limit your financial ability and force you to take on further debt affecting your financial and mental health in the process.
Pay your debts
There is absolutely no doubt that when you are in doubt you must pay it off. Any bill is an assumed agreement and liability on your part to repay and you can face legal obligations if you fail to make a payment or ignore it altogether. It is for these reasons that you will find people in debt often look for alternative debt relief options and agencies with high debt settlement ratingsto seek help in their debt and finance management.
Unpaid bills, medical or otherwise, will very soon affect your health in several different ways, both mentally and physically. It will:
- Raise your blood pressure
- Increase the risk of heart diseases and stroke
- Affect your behavior, mood and relationship
- Raise stress and anxiety affecting your sleep
- Reduce your appetite lowering your energy levels
- Hamper your professional career thereby lowering your income further and
- Make you aloof from the society.
To make sure this does not happen, you must pay off your medical bills which you can do in many different ways. You can pay it off from:
- Your emergency medical fund if you have
- Your savings account and even
- Consolidate all smaller bills into one if you have.
Always keep your future arrangements and plans ready and let the doctor’s office know about it. This will prevent your bills from being sent to the collections agency or if you find paying your bill is difficult, ask for a restructured payment plans to get a breather and not default.