Frequent doctor visits, extended hospital stays and prescription after expensive prescription can cause panic and anxiety in the elderly. With the rising costs of healthcare and an increase in the number of prescriptions needed in later years, the elderly often consider compromising their health in order to save a few dollars. Many delay treatment for serious medical conditions. Others limit their prescription expenses by cutting pills in half, taking pills every other day or every two days and at other times, simply never filling the prescriptions in the first place.
So how can high medical costs be managed and allow the elderly to receive the care they need?
- Apply for Medicaid. If you are on a limited budget and limited income, you may be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid is in addition to Medicare and covers some of the medical costs and prescriptions for which Medicare offers no reimbursement.
- Review your medical bills carefully. Some insurance companies may refuse a claim because a service is coded incorrectly by the medical billing office. Also look for duplicate charges which is a common occurrence on medical bills.
- Ask for a payment plan. Healthcare providers would rather receive the entire balance over time than receive nothing at all and have to try to chase payment.
- Check with local social service agencies. Local agencies frequently have programs offering assistance to those facing costly medical bills. Check your phone book or local family service agency for programs.
- Ask for a discount. Again, healthcare providers would rather receive something than nothing, and you may be able to pay as little as half the bill if you’re in a tight financial situation.
Every medical bill seems to be high these days, especially with people struggling to simply keep the roof over their head and food on the table. Asking for help will get you more help than if you simply do nothing, and frequently it simply takes a few proactive steps to feel some relief from the high cost of medical bills.
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