What are your options for paying off medical debt?

Despite eating well and exercising to avoid health complications, you may find yourself saddled with medical debt because of an injury or a moment of clumsiness. No matter how the injury and resulting hospital visit occurred, you have medical debt that you want to pay off as soon as possible. How? 

AARP offers payment options that may help. While you can file for bankruptcy, there are other avenues that you may prefer to explore beforehand. 

Aid and benefit programs

Depending on your income, you may qualify for federal programs such as Medicaid. With Medicaid, applicants may qualify for retroactive coverage. 

Some nonprofit groups focus on helping those in specific communities and with conditions such as cancer. With a bit of research on California’s organizations and aid programs, you may get financial help with your medical bills. 

Charity care

Health care facilities may have in-house financial assistance programs that patients do not know about, especially nonprofit hospitals. Even if you received treatment at a for-profit facility, it may have a charity care program that you can look into. Some programs allow applicants to apply for financial assistance after billing or even after a bill proceeds to collections. 

Medical payment plans

You could qualify for a monthly payment plan to ease your financial burden. If your medical care provider offers this option, ask about interest rates. If you qualify, make a realistic offer for how much you can pay each month. Consider your other debts and financial obligations and your income, especially if a recent injury or health complication affects your ability to work and earn a steady wage.