Health insurance is necessary for every resident of America as it provides instant payments when they face any unfortunate event. According to the law, every person needs to have health insurance, but what happens when people who do not have health insurance face high hospital bills?
What happens if you go to a hospital and pay for high bills without health insurance?
Health insurance is the right of every citizen of the united states of America, and according to the law, every person has to acquire it irrespective of the fact that he is a national or not. The United States of America has multiple health laws for health facilities provided to the people. One such health law is the emergency medical treatment and active labor act known as EMTALA. According to this law, if a person faces an accident or any unfortunate, the hospital should take him to the emergency room, and they should stabilize him and treat him for injuries that can cause him to die. This treatment should be done without checking if the person can afford the treatment or not.
The same law applies to women who are going into labor, and the case is serious. If the water has broken and emergency medical treatment is required, the doctors will not hesitate in providing the treatment to stabilize the patient. If they look into the finances of the patient to ensure if he or she can afford it, the patient’s condition would have worsened, and the patient may also die.
After treating the patient and he is safe and sound, the finances are discussed as someone has to pay for the bills. Moreover, the situation becomes a bit difficult when the person who is treated does not have health insurance. It is because in most cases, the person does not have instant payments to pay for the bills. Now the hospital will try its best to retrieve the money for treatment from the patent or his family. Moreover, the staff in charge of the hospital will select a short committee to discuss the situation of the patient. If the patent has genuine reasons to not pay for the bills such as unemployment, zero savings, or uninsured, then the committee agrees to pay for the bills. Before paying the bill, the committee members will investigate to make sure that the patient is not lying about his financial position.
Patients are divided into two categories. The first category includes the people who are wealthy enough or have the resources to pay for the bills. People in this category are checked, and if they can pay, the hospital urges them to pay for the medical bills. In most cases, they do, but the hospital does provide them some time if they face any discrepancies.
The second category involves the people who cannot pay the medical bills. There are several reasons for this. The first reason is that the patient does not have a family to support his financial costs or the person does not have a job, and his salary is used up in other expenses. So in these situations, the hospitals have several options.
The first option is that the hospital will investigate if the person is eligible for financial aid or not. Once the hospital confirms that the patient cannot pay his bills, they will provide him health services such as Medicare or Medicaid. They will use both of these platforms to pay for his medical bills. These two organizations are contacted and requested funds to pay for the payments of the customers. Moreover, some of the patients are given a loaned treatment. What is loaned treatment? Loaned treatment is when the hospital pays for the medical services provided while treatment, but the person has to, later on, pay for these services when he receives the money.
There are also other options provide to the patient. In some cases, the hospital may remove the total debt of the person, but on certain conditions. Some conditions include that the person should be eligible for charity. It is only possible if the person has no source of income and also has no savings. Moreover, these services are not provided by all hospitals. Only state-owned hospitals provide these services. Some private hospitals also provide these services as hospitals keep a small percentage of their earnings for charity services. Some of the hospitals declare themselves as non-profit hospitals, and to maintain the status of non-profit, they have to pay for some charitable services or carry out some charitable work during the year.
Sometimes, if the hospital does not provide any charitable services, it can declare any debt due to the hospital as bad debt. It is also called charity numbers. Moreover, this bad debt is used by hospitals to calculate the reimbursement rates for Medicare or Medicaid. It allows the hospital to request higher reimbursement sales from the government. Moreover, the hospital also has other ways to pay for the charity work offered to the patient. They increase the charges of insurance plans of customers, which mean that the insurance will charge more from customers, and as a result, the health care provides will receive a higher percentage of money.
It will make health care expenses for those who can afford it, but the hospital will cover its costs.
Some situations that can be made by the hospital may also lead to the bankruptcy of an individual, but this is for a certain category of people only. The individual must not have insurance, but he should be employed, and if this is the case, the hospital will be sent the remainder of the bill collections to the person. It might put the individual in a compromised financial position if he cannot pay for the bills.
Uninsured people are given the chance to get aid from Medicaid. It is also possible even after they have arrived in the hospital. Medicaid laws are different from all states, but they do give medical assistance in the form of payments for people who are uninsured and do not have the money to pay for their medical bills. These funds are then paid to the people from DHS programs. So what is a DHS program? DHS is a program that balances the unpaid bills amongst hospitals. They control the payments of the payment and distribute them equally depending on the cost of care. Hospitals situated in urban areas receive more patients who have no health insurance.
Moreover, most wealthy people tend to give charity donations to these hospitals. The hospitals save these donations in two sections. One of the sections is for the construction in the hospital, and the other section is for treating patients that are uninsured and have no means of paying for their hospital bills. Moreover, the state also helps in donating. Taxes are applied to the people, and that tax money is then accumulated to pay for the bills of the people who cannot afford their treatment.
I will give you an example to give a rough estimate of the idea. Suppose a patient gets into a car accident, the first thing is that he will be taken to the ICU to operate him without any questions about the finances. Suppose the total bill is 1000 dollars. If he survives, the hospital will ask him to pay his bills. If due to financial reasons he isn’t able to pay, the hospital will refer his case to Medicaid, and they will provide 1000 dollars to the hospital for his treatment. The hospital may also pay 1000 dollars from the charity received by wealthy people.
How to pay medical bills if you have no insurance?
If you decide not to take health insurance, you have to take some precautions to save yourself from trouble in the future. If you do not have insurance, you will have to pay for all the medical bills that are formed during your treatment. In today’s world, the people who have insurance also find it hard to pay for medical bills, but why is this so? It is because of the rising prices of medical instruments and medicines. Moreover, with the increase in electricity prices, the prices of medical treatments have also increased. You need to take proactive steps to prevent any unfortunate events to happen in the future. If you are uninsured and do not know how to pay for medical bills, study the heading below.
Shopping for several doctors and hospitals:
It is a very great tip. So what you have to do is take some time out of your busy routine and visit hospitals. Educate yourself about the medical services they provide. Most importantly, ask for the prices of medical treatments, even if it is the cheapest treatment. All of this should be done before you get into an unfortunate event. It is because, when you come into a medical emergency, you will not have time to look at hospitals and decide which one better.
Keeping yourself beforehand will allow you to decide instantly as to where you want to have your medical treatment to save yourself from the high bills of the hospital and get the best possible treatment in your budget. Suppose a hospital changes 65 dollars only for an appointment, then this becomes too expensive if it involves the prices of actual treatments. A good person who wants to save money will take into consideration clinics or private doctors, who are both experts and also charge less. Moreover, ask for all possible treatments of a different part of the body, the hospitals will charge different amounts for different surgeries or health care facilities.
Pay in advance:
This is tip is especially for clinics or private doctors and not for hospitals. It is because hospitals charge a fix amount of money for procedures and the doctors have no involvement in them. Doctors who have private clinics charge a lesser amount of money from people who have no health insurance. They do this to assist them in case they are short of money or have no means to pay for the medical bills. Some doctors provide the patients with a facility to reduce the price by a certain percentage to assist the patients, but these facilities are only provided if the patients agree to pay in advance.
Suppose you have a wife who is pregnant. Most pregnancies are of nine months, so what you can do is book an expected date with the clinic or the hospital for the delivery of the baby. Furthermore, you can pay some or all of the money in advance to the hospital or the clinic. If you pay them in advance, they will reduce your charges by some percentage. These services of cost reduction are not only restricted to pregnancies, so you can do the same for medical tests or other surgeries that can be costly. By following this method, you will save a lot of money, but you should keep in mind that this case is not possible for dealing with emergencies.
Calling the hospital to pay:
This step might also help in reducing your hospital bills. After treatment, you will receive medical payments for all the services provided to you. On receiving the bill, you should instantly call the hospital and set up a payment plan with them. in most cases, the hospitals will provide you with a cheaper payment plan if you pay all of the amounts in one to go if, for some reasons, you do not have the money, you should set up a payment plan with the hospital. It is preferred not to delay the communication with the hospitals or clinic as they might send a collection agency after you to retrieve their bill payments. These collection agencies are sending in around 90 days of non0payments of dues, and it becomes difficult to negotiate with these collection agencies.
Save money on medicines:
There are several ways to save your money on medications. The first way is to ask your doctor if he has any free samples to give out to people. If he does, you can take those samples and use the ones that you need. You are also allowed to ask your doctors for generic medicines as they cost a lesser amount of money to fill. You might also join a prescription assistance program as a volunteer. These drug companies provide free medicines in return or provide you with the medicine you need at a much cheaper price. Look for stores that give discounts on medicines. Wal-Mart provides many medicines that are at a price of fewer than 4 dollars. Take that list to the doctor and ask if those medicines would be helpful in your treatment.
Making savings account for paying medical bills:
If you do not have health insurance, you should set some money aside from your monthly earnings. It is better as you are the one to decide how much money you want to keep aside. It could be as little as 50 dollars. It is best to open up a savings account for it. In the future, if you face any such situations you can take out money from that bank account and pay for those services. You will also face additional fees if you can’t pay the bills and also have no insurance, so it is best to keep yourself financially ready for everything. There are not federal fines for not having insurance, but several states such as Washington, new jersey, California, and Rhode island have imposed their own set of rules for fines on people who do not have health insurance and cannot pay for medical bills.
From all the information on facts and figures, we can conclude the situation depends on the financial situation of the person, and as for the health care providers, they retrieve their money in all cases. They do it by either taking it from the customers or increasing premiums of health insurance companies so that they can get a higher percentage. There are numerous ways to save you from the high bills of hospitals, but the best way is to have health insurance.