Written by Benjamin Smith | Last Updated February 24th, 2020Benjamin Smith is a Content Management and SEO Strategist for Best Company specializing in home, health, and wellness. With roots in public relations, he strives to provide consumers with data and information that will carry them from the beginning stages of research to the final stage of finding the best product or service.
Picture this: As you open your daily mail, you encounter a medical bill. The total cost glares at you as you feel your jaw nearly hit the floor. Don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. Medical bills can be shockingly expensive and often burdensome. Over the years, many changes have gone into effect in the healthcare system causing financial difficulty, and there are staggering numbers to back it up. In this article we will briefly discuss the issue of growing medical debt among Americans and what can be done to confront it.
Where do you stand?
To begin, ask yourself this question: If I were to receive an unexpected medical bill of $500 today, could I pay it? According to recent Kaiser Health Tracking Polls some 45 percent of Americans say it would be difficult to pay this amount. One fourth of those who were surveyed said that they could not pay the bill immediately, but could either borrow from a bank or put it on a credit card to pay over time.
A number of individuals feel that having health insurance will solve these problems. Surprisingly, 43 percent of adults with health insurance are struggling to pay their deductible and about 30 percent are struggling to afford their premiums. One more shocking data point was more than 70 percent of those working to pay medical bills are cutting back spending on basic necessities such as food, clothing, or other household basics just to finish paying.
What are some solutions?
Though these medical bills are not going to simply disappear, recent years have witnessed the inception of mobile healthcare financing. This service has opened up a slew of new and improved possibilities. So how can this mobile feature help you?
- Online accounts — There was a time when paying bills meant sending a check in the mail or going to your bank or financial lender to pay directly. Those days are now gone. Though you can still do those things, you can much more easily hop on your smartphone, tablet, or home computer and see all the details of your loan.
- Transaction monitoring — If you are using a medical credit card, you can view and manage all of your transactions through your online portal to ensure that you are aware of upcoming expenses.
- Making payments — After establishing a repayment plan with your lending provider, you can set up automatic payments to ensure that payments are made. You can also send extra payments quickly through this portal if your financial situation allows.
The process of receiving and repaying medical loans through personal loans and medical credit cards has never been easier.
How to find mobile options
Now how are you going to find the right healthcare financing company for you? One way is to visit bestcompany.com to view a list of 25 healthcare financing providers and verified user reviews for each company to help you find the one that fits your personal needs.
Some examples of providers include (but are certainly not limited to) the following:
- Compassionate Finance
- Wells Fargo Health Advantage
- Commerce Bank
- Capital One Healthcare Financing
- Care Credit
- GE Capital
- Lending Club
- Care Payment
Note: Not all healthcare providers are connected with all of these financing services (this also depends on whether you receive a loan or use a medical credit card). If there is a financing company that you are interested in using, check with your healthcare provider to see if they currently use that service or would be willing to do so to facilitate your payment.
As you do your research, make sure that you look at available payment and loan management options. Though all of these companies do provide healthcare financing, they do not necessary all provide mobile accessibility. If that is what you want, double checking is always good!
What is covered?
One quirk of a number of medical loan providers is the specific types of medical procedures that they fund. Each provider has its own list of covered expenses and not all companies are flexible. Some common procedures that are covered by the majority of companies include the following:
- Cosmetic — this may include reconstruction surgeries, augmentations, liposuction, and laser hair removal.
- Dental — dental work that is commonly covered is braces, orthodontic work, veneers, implants, dentures, and root canals.
- Hearing — one of the major costs that this covers is the cost of hearing aid technology.
- Vision — not all insurance plans cover vision, but some procedures that a number of healthcare financial providers will fund are LASIK, conductive keratoplasty, and cataract surgery.
Mobile repayment tips and tricks
A study of 2,000 Americans in 2018 found that Americans on average can check their phones anywhere from 80–300 times each day. If you are one of those people, how much easier will it be for you to keep track of medical bills and your own personal payment plans if you can do it all with a couple of finger taps on your smartphone?
Here are a couple of tips that can help make paying for medical bills easier for you:
- Establish a challenging, but achievable repayment plan. Don’t opt for the longest plan offered unless you genuinely will be unable to pay back your loan sooner. Set a plan that you know will challenge you to stay on top of things. Each time you make a payment you will be able to feel a sense of accomplishment and when you finish paying off your loan, you will have something to celebrate.
- Set an automatic payment schedule and phone reminders. Don’t wait for the last minute when bills will be due. Make it a priority in your budget to have a set amount paid automatically from your account on a certain day each month (or every couple of weeks if you plan to pay it more quickly).
- Stick to the plan. Don’t let stress and worry sway your decision to follow your payment schedule. The more you put off repayment, the more interest you will pay. Though it can seem daunting, following your established schedule will save you a good chunk of money in the long run.
What did we learn?
Mobile healthcare lending is the new and improved way to tackle your medical expenses. No need for frustrating bills in the mail. No need to visit your local bank or lending provider to make payments.
There are a number of healthcare financial providers out there. These companies are not all affiliated with your personal healthcare provider, so you will need to find out which of them are.
Don’t wallow in medical expenses. With mobile accessibility, you can turn a new page and start eliminating your medical debt. Your ability to successfully pay off your medical bills is just a Wi-Fi connection away.