How to Pay for Healthcare Emergencies
Medical emergencies can come with serious financial hits. There are millions who don’t have health insurance and live in fear of not being able to care for themselves. And there are millions who do suffer from heavy medical debt.
You have to prepare for medical emergencies. Viable solutions include signing up for health insurance, managing health savings or flexible spending accounts, or investing in a disability insurance policy. You should also see if you’re a candidate for Social Security or Medicaid benefits.
Options for Health Plans
There are steps you should do to protect yourself and your finances in case of a medical emergency. The first step is finding health insurance. This can be done in several ways.
Sign up with your employer. If there are a certain number of paid employees, the company has to offer a health insurance plan. The employer subsidizes insurance premiums for their employees and, depending on the plan, members of the family. Visit HR and get the info you need.
Health providers like Blue Cross provide accounts for individuals not eligible for insurance through normal channels. Do a little research online or work with an insurance broker to find an appropriate plan.
If you’re younger than 26, you can be placed on your parents’ health plan. This is a condition where you’re eligible even if you don’t live with your parents, you’re married, or you’re not financially dependent on your parents.
Obamacare, or the Affordable Health Care Act, was designed to make insurance available to anyone. There are states with their own guidelines for this insurance program. Other states use the regulations set up by the federal government. Learn how to get Obamacare coverage at healthcare.gov.
Buying insurance may make you eligible for subsidies. These insurance instruments help pay premiums. Always use the marketplace to find out if you’re eligible for financial assistance before reaching out to insurance companies.
Health-sharing ministries are another option. They facilitate individuals jointly sharing healthcare costs. Ministry health solutions can be more affordable than traditional insurance, but there is a catch. Ministries are not subject to standard health insurance company regulations and can require the insured to be of a particular faith to participate.
While health insurance covers medical expenses, most plans expect a contribution from you. This is a deductible, a fee paid before any expenses are covered. Copayments are portions of payments you’re responsible for. Coinsurance entails how much of the healthcare costs you cover, such as an 80:20 split between the insurer and you. The policy may also include exclusions. These are medical expenses your healthcare insurer won’t cover at all.
Saving for the Worst
Medical expenses pile up fast. Here are three primary solutions where you prepare for the worst.
Health Savings Accounts – Health insurance plans sometimes come with big deductibles. In these cases, you may be eligible for a health savings account. Employers can arrange them, or you can do it yourself. Any costs related to healthcare can be deducted from this account. Any invested funds are tax-deductible. Withdrawals are tax-free.
Flexible Spending Accounts – This is an account only your employer can open. Any money in the account has to be utilized the same year funds were put into the account. There are plans that will let you roll over up to $500 into the following calendar year, but your employer has to set up the account to do that.
Emergency Healthcare Loans – If you ever find yourself overwhelmed by medical expenses, there are emergency loans to help pay bills. These companies provide funds to help pay medical expenses and alleviate stress. They provide financing for surgeries or impact from high deductibles.
Social Security Disability – Based on illness or injury, you may qualify for social security benefits. This Social Security Administration offers disability insurance and supplemental security. These benefits are designed for the long-term impaired due to their medical conditions. But this is a tedious process. Qualifications are stringent and will be based on your profession, any work you may still be capable of doing, and your health condition.
Medicaid – If illnesses leave you with limited income and little assets, Medicaid can cover healthcare costs. There are situations where all health expenses may be covered entirely. It’s a state program, and that means each state may have its own rules and regulations for approval.