The weeks and months following a severe medical procedure can be a very difficult time in a person’s life. In addition to the pain of healing and commitments to follow-up appointments and therapy, you could be facing a barrage of new expenses that you weren’t ready for, and that you’re not sure you can afford. It can often feel impossible to pay off all of that debt and return to your old way of life. However, there are some steps that you can take to make these obstacles easier to overcome and maintain your control of your life.
Drive with Lyft
One of the easiest ways to pay off any bill is to get a side job or part-time position that will help you pay it off faster. If your medical condition allows you to do so, then a perfect part-time job for you might be to drive with Lyft. According to glassdoor.com, the average income for a Lyft Driver in 2017 was $38,247. Besides good money, it’s also a great opportunity because you can work as much or as little as your medical condition, or obligations to your family and full-time job, will allow.
In addition, you will also have the opportunity to make new friends and new connections that could pay off for future jobs. It also presents a good job that you can start and stop at any time, which is perfect since you primarily focused on helping to pay off your medical bills without taking on the strain of in-house employment position. However, just like with any job, if you want to reap the full benefits, and earn enough to make real progress in paying off your medical bills, you’re still going to have to put time and effort into a position with Lyft.
Ask for a Discount
Hospitals and other medical establishments are notorious for charging patients for even the slightest of goods and services. If you receive your bill and believe that they have unfairly charged you, or there is a charge on your bill that you did not actually want or mean to purchase, then this is a good time to dispute the claim. Not only can you dispute false claims, but you can also ask about options available for you to reduce the cost of incurred with your procedure. Perhaps there are discounts if you are a veteran, student, or especially, senior citizen.
While pursuing your options for discounts, it is also good to remain polite and courteous while negotiating with the hospital’s staff or your insurance provider, since your representative may be more apt to give you a discount if you were especially polite and grateful for their help, rather than abruptly asking for a discount, then immediately hanging up your phone or clicking the window closed. Even if they have told you before that the answer is no, working with a different representative or asking nicely once more is never a bad idea. The worst thing that you can hear is no, so it is always worth at least asking for a discounted price.
Freelance Your Way Out of Debt
Like driving with Lyft, freelancing provides an excellent source of temporary work to help you more pay your debts off quicker. When freelancing, there are a number of options that can work for whatever skill set you have. Freelance writing and editing, at-home tutoring, art commissions, computer coding, and web design are just a few of the many freelance fields that are always hiring. In the digital age, having a resume that includes freelance experience will help you stand out from a pool of applicants, especially if you continue freelancing once you have paid off your medical expenses.
As a freelancer, you are your own boss and you set your own pace, though you may have to answer to your employer to make sure that you are producing the content that they are looking for. Freelancing skills serve themselves not just to help you pay off medical bills quickly from the comfort of your own home, but they will also allow you to network and gain skills that you can use on the workforce when you become well again.
Take Out a Loan
If the injury or illness was particularly severe and you find yourself unable to pay off your medical bills through part-time work, then there is always the option of a loan.Though you may not initially consider a loan as a valid option, are much more preferable to being yet another American who finds themselves with thousands of dollars worth of debts to pay off because of medical expenses. In addition, there are loan options available that do not automatically incur a massive obligation like those typically associated with a mortgage or car loan. You don’t necessarily have to worry about paying off such loans for many years, nor the potential damage to your credit score.
There are even special loans for individuals who have multiple medical bills that they have to pay off at the same time called medical consolidation loans. These types of personal loans allow you to pay off your debt without having to worry about owing money to a medical collection company, and it is always nice to not have to worry about receiving an unwelcome phone call from a debt collector.
Set Up Auto Payments
While paying your medical bills might become your number one priority as a person in debt, that does not mean that the other debts you have vanish for the time being. One way that you can stay out of the red and not drown in overwhelming debt is by changing the way that you pay off some of your existing debts.
For instance, you can establish an auto-payment system with your bank or lender, so that instead of paying one large lump sum at the end of every month, you can pay the first half of it towards the beginning of the month and pay the second half of it towards the end of every month. That way, it can be a few more manageable payments rather than one large payment to dread at the end of every month, which is when your medical bill payment might also be due as well.
Taking these five tips into consideration as you look at your medical expenses should help you realize that, although you’ll have to be dedicated to doing everything you can, paying off your medical bills is far from impossible.
While they may not completely eradicate your debt, these options can help you mitigate some of the debt that you accumulated through your medical procedures. With these five tips, hopefully you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and focus on getting better, instead of worrying about when the collectors will be calling.