Healthcare can be expensive, particularly for those dealing with malpractice or other legal medical issues. If you’re not careful, your healthcare costs can cause financial ruin.
Legal medical issues can crop up without notice. They won’t disappear on their own, either. Rather, you may be forced to devote significant time, energy, and resources to address them. And the longer these issues linger, the worse they can become.
With the right resources, you can explore ways to alleviate legal medical issues before they escalate. As a result, you can manage your health and finances effectively until you resolve your legal medical issues.
The Impact of Legal Medical Issues on Healthcare Costs
A medical malpractice lawsuit can put a major dent in your budget. The same holds true for people involved in defective product lawsuits or other issues in which they want financial compensation following an injury.
If you file a lawsuit after an injury, it may take many weeks or months before your legal case is resolved. In the meantime, you are responsible for all of your medical costs. And if you cannot pay them, you could encounter substantial debt.
At this point, you may be forced to forgo your legal case, so you can pay your medical bills. Conversely, you can use the following resources to help you simultaneously manage your healthcare expenses and legal medical issues.
Medicare.gov is the official U.S. government website for Medicare. Here, you can find information about federal health insurance available to U.S. residents age 65 and older. Medicare.gov also provides information about federal health insurance to U.S. residents coping with End-Stage Renal Disease or certain disabilities, regardless of age.
Visit Medicare.gov to view Medicare costs any time you choose. In addition, you can browse all types of Medicare plans. You can get insights into Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, and other options to help you cover your Medicare costs, too.
2. Social Security Administration (SSA)
For those who want to apply for Medicare, SSA can help. SSA lets people apply for Medicare, disability, and retirement benefits. The administration allows people to submit an online appeal if they are denied various benefits as well.
If you prefer, you can call SSA for assistance. Dial 1-800-772-1213 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and you can speak to an SSA representative regarding your Medicare, disability, and retirement benefits.
3. Family Voices
Family Voices supports families and friends of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). It offers family-to-family health information centers nationwide.
A Family Voices health information center can help you find healthcare financing if you have a child dealing with special healthcare needs. Family Voices also provides educational tools and resources to help you find safe, effective, and affordable medical care for CYSHCN.
4. Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
PAF administers direct healthcare services to patients with chronic, life-threatening, and debilitating diseases. It helps these patients access care and treatment recommended by their doctor.
Furthermore, PAF provides copay assistance and other financial services to help patients reduce their medical bills. You can even take advantage of PAF’s National Financial Resource Directory to retrieve specific healthcare resources for your state.
5. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
PhRMA offers a Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT), which lets users search for healthcare financial assistance resources close to home. MAT gives users access to hundreds of public and private assistance programs. It provides users with access to information regarding the costs of myriad medical procedures.
MAT is backed by some of the biggest names in healthcare, too. The tool is kept up to date, ensuring users can leverage it to access the healthcare financial information they need, exactly when they need it.
Tips to Help You Manage Your Medical and Legal Costs
The aforementioned resources can help those coping with medical and legal costs avoid financial hardship or limit its impact. Along with using these resources, there are several things you can do to keep your medical and legal expenses as low as possible. These include:
1. Advocate for Yourself
Speak up and share your healthcare cost concerns with your doctor. By advocating for yourself, your doctor can help you find the best way to minimize your medical costs.
Doctors can often provide tips and recommendations to help you limit your healthcare expenses. They may be able to work with your insurance company to help you reduce these costs. Or, they may provide financing options that ensure you can make low monthly payments to cover your healthcare bills over an extended period of time.
2. Seek Out a Second Opinion
Discuss your healthcare concerns with multiple doctors. In doing so, you may find doctors have different opinions regarding the care and treatment required to address a medical issue.
The doctor-patient relationship is key. By searching for a second opinion, you can verify that your primary doctor is doing everything in their power to provide you with the best possible care. Plus, you can get additional insights to determine if you require certain treatments — or if cost-effective alternatives may be viable options.
3. Consult with Your Insurance Provider
Reach out to your healthcare insurance company to find out what options are available to help you lower your medical costs. Oftentimes, your insurer can collaborate with you to verify you can keep your healthcare expenses at a minimum. At the same time, your insurer will confirm you can get the healthcare services you need now and in the future.
Of course, if you decide to update your health insurance coverage, review all of the plan options at your disposal. From here, you can select a plan that aligns with your health and finances.
Keep Your Medical and Legal Costs in Check
Financial assistance is available to those who are dealing with medical and legal bills. Use all of the resources and tools at your disposal, and you can manage your medical and legal expenses with precision and care.
Author Info: Noah Rue is a writer, a digital nomad, and a graduate of the lessons of life (primary) and also the University of Idaho. These days, Noah teaches English as a second language in lovely Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and moonlights as a content strategist for an American-based marketing company.