Friday, April 6, 2018

Get help to pay medical bills

Many hospitals, non-profits in particular, may have financial assistance programs specifically designed to help people pay for medical care that they would not normally be able to afford, especially if you do not have health insurance or are partially covered (insurance amount may not cover the entire hospital bill) and are paying cash.

Here are some of the options that may be available if you are not able to pay the full amount of the bill, out of your own pocket, at once. You can ask, if the medical establishment offers these options for financial assistance any time before paying the bill - at the time of admission, during the hospital stay or at the time of discharge. Once you are aware of the various options available, you can plan payment of your medical bills.

·         You can request for bill reduction or forgiveness.
·         You also can ask for cash discount.
·         You can also request for 0% interest repayment plan.
·         Or a combination of the two.
·         You can pay by credit card and get a period of time ‘grace period’ for yourself.
·         Sometimes doctor offices, hospitals, labs and other medical facilities will offer a discount, if you pay your portion of the bill in full. It never hurts to ask.
·         Another strategy is to research the average cost of the care you received using websites or even calling up other local hospitals. If your hospital is charging you more, you could use that information as leverage for getting your bill reduced.
·         Medtronics offers ten of its flagship products such as stents, pacemakers and defibrillators priced between Rs 20,000/- and Rs 5 lakh on EMIs.
·         Arogya Finance has a tie up with Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories for providing medical loans on 36 EMIs for treatment of Hepatitis C.
·         All major banks like ICICI, HDFC, Kotak etc. and financial institutions like Tata and Fullerton now offer personal loans to cover medical expenses with easy EMIs.
·         In a no cost EMI loan, the hospital bears the interest cost for the patient in the form of an upfront subvention fee. For example, if the hospital bill is Rs 1.2 lakh and the tenure of the loan is 12 months, the EMI will be Rs 10,000/-. There are processing fees and other associated one-time costs, which add up to 2-3% of the loan amount. In a no cost EMI loan, the applicant has to deposit 2 months’ EMIs upfront and the balance is to be paid in 10 instalments, while the hospital pays the lender 7-9% of the loan amount as subvention fee.
·         Bajaj Finserv’s Personal Loan for Medical Emergency ensures that you get access to funds when you need it the most. Avail a Flexi Interest-only Loan up to Rs.25 lakh and pay up to 45% lower EMI.

·         Patient financing services such as Ela Loan are also available for all fertility treatment options (IVF, ICSI, IUI)

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