Healthcare Costs Go Up While Incomes Go Down, Say Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys
As if it isn't annoying enough that credit card and bank account fees are getting higher, now health insurance premiums are poised to jump skyward, according to Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.
In at least six states, people who buy their own insurance could see rates rise by at least 50 percent, according to the Associated Press. And they're not alone - employees with insurance plans through work have been seeing 5 percent more on average amounts carved out of their paychecks.
Americans deserve affordable health insurance, whether it comes from a government option or not. But in the meantime, some insurance is better than none - and canceling your plan to save money might be a risk you can't afford. Unless you can accurately predict the future, gambling that you won't get sick is a bad bet. An unexpected illness or hospital stay can cost you thousands more dollars than you'll save by not paying your monthly premium - in extreme cases, it could cost you millions. Fortunately, there are ways to lessen the pain of paying for health insurance so you can afford to be protected.
Understand your plan
Sometimes you can save money simply by deciphering your plan. For instance, is your doctor covered by your health insurance? If not, you're probably being charged extra. You may be able to lower your monthly payment by increasing your deductible, or the amount you pay before your insurance company chips in. If you're young and healthy, it might be worth it to shell out a bit more at the doctor's office the few times you go than to pay big bucks every month. Figure out what works for you.
Save at the doctor
If you're buying name-brand prescriptions, chances are you can get essentially the same thing for less than half the price. All you have to do is request a generic alternative. When you're faced with costly procedures, bring up your financial hardship. You might be offered a payment plan or lower rate. It doesn't hurt to try.
Look for help
Many clinics offer programs that let you make payments as you can afford them. You can look for one in your local area by going to www.ask.hrsa.gov/pc. Meanwhile, look into whether you qualify for Medicare or Medicaid at www.cms.hhs.gov.
In the meantime, it can't hurt to free up some more money to cover your payments - not matter how high they are. One of the fastest ways to increase your income is to decrease your debt. The more you can pay each month, the less you'll have left to pay interest on - saving you big bucks in the future.
Can't seem to make a dent in your debt burden? Consider bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy can be the most effective way to clean up your finances, since it offers a chance to pay down or eliminate your debts. And it's free to find out if bankruptcy is right for you when you sign up for a free one-on-one debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. Nobody likes to think that we'll end up getting sick. But if we do, we should focus our energy on getting healthy again - not on climbing out of debt.