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Going to see a doctor can be expensive, even with comprehensive healthcare insurance. Most policies come with a deductible you must pay out of pocket before your insurer covers the rest of the bill.
You agreed to cover this deductible when you first signed up for insurance. But the idea of paying a deductible in a hypothetical medical emergency is very different from the reality of receiving this bill. On a tight budget, you may not know how to handle this added expense.
Learn About Online Loans
If you need an urgent x-ray or prescription before you can save an appropriate emergency fund, online loans may provide a safety net. Online installment loans and lines of credit are convenient, quick, and easy to research with a phone or PC. All you need is secure access to the Internet and time to learn about borrowing options online.
Applying for a loan online is simple, too. You can fill out a digital application to see if you qualify using basic financial information. If approved, you can receive a direct deposit loan to cover your deductible payments quickly.
Borrowing money comes with costs, so it’s important you don’t skip the initial research step. Pay close attention to when you’ll have to repay what you owe and how big each installment will be; these details can help you identify if a loan works with your budget.
Choose Your Healthcare Provider Carefully
In an emergency, you might rush to the closest hospital to receive critical care. But in non-urgent situations, you may want to slow down long enough to review your options. Go online and research your in-network care providers as outlined in your insurance policy. In-network providers are approved hospital and clinics that have a financial arrangement with your insurer. They usually charge your insurer less for care, and these savings roll down to patients like you.
Accidentally going out of network means you receive care from a healthcare provider that has no such arrangement with your insurer. This may affect how much your insurance covers, and you may even have to pay for the difference in cost compared to in-network care.
Ask for a Financing Plan
In most cases, you pay your out-of-pocket deductible directly to your healthcare provider, not your healthcare insurer. This gives you an opportunity to ask this medical company’s billing department about their financing plans.
Some billing departments may be willing to accommodate your budget if they know you’re struggling to pay your deductible in one lump sum. Financing plans break up this payment into multiple, smaller ones spread out over time like an installment loan, so there’s less upfront demand on your budget to come up with everything all at once. This gives you a little relief, and it increases the chances your practitioner gets paid — that’s a win-win.
Next Time, Preventative Budgeting Can Help in a Big Way
Having an emergency fund comes in handy in emergencies like these. You can dip into your pile of savings without disrupting your usual monthly budget or borrowing an online loan. It gives you the financial flexibility to pay your deductible and your bills simultaneously.
An effective emergency fund should contain three to six months of living expenses, which can be a daunting goal. Every fund has to start somewhere, so focus on what you can do to save your first $100.
Don’t let your tight budget stop you. Eventually, even small contributions compound, growing larger each month you stick with this habit.