Managing UC can be expensive. Understanding how your health insurance works is important to keeping costs down. Financial assistance programs can help you reduce your costs.
UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes the lining of the colon to become irritative and develop blisters.
People with UC may need more frequent medical care to manage their symptoms. The cost of this care can quickly add up.
Here is what you need to know about managing your finances.
Research suggests that people with IBD, including UC, can expect to pay three times the amount of healthcare costs as people without the condition and twice the annual out-of-pocket costs.
People with IBD pay more in healthcare costs than people without IBD. The cost of out-of-pocket costs for people with and without IBD is around $2,213 and $979 respectively.
There are a number of factors that drive the high healthcare costs for UC. These may include:
- UC drugs
- mental health treatment, as IBD has been linked to
increased riskof anxiety and depression symptoms
- medical services associated with disease relapses, especially
- overall costs of healthcare, which have also
increasedover the last several years
The following tips can help you save money when you have to pay your healthcare bill.
Check your medical bills
Medical bills can be incorrect.
It is important to review your medical bill to make sure you are not charged for services.
- “You didn’t get it.”
- They were paid by you or your insurer.
- It should have been billed to your insurer.
You can request an itemized bill and itemization of all payments from your hospital or clinic. Cross-check your medical bills with all the medical paperwork you receive.
Check your medical bills with your insurance. If the amount on your medical bills is the same as the amount your insurance company says you owe, this comparison can help confirm.
“If you misplace your medical paperwork, you can request your records from your doctor or healthcare professional. If you don’t have one, you can contact your insurance company for an explanation of benefits.”
“You should keep in mind that your insurer may not have time to pay the bill before you do. If you don’t know how much of the bill your insurance will cover, call your insurance provider.”
Negotiate your costs
It may come as a surprise, but many healthcare professionals are willing to negotiate costs.
Some healthcare professionals will give you a discount on your bill, often if you offer to immediately pay the balance in full. Consumer advocacy groups and attorneys can help you to negotiate your bill.
Other professionals might offer a payment plan to help you pay the bill in installments.
If you have a life situation that prevents you from paying your bill in full, be open and honest with your healthcare professional. If you are an established patient with a good payment history, they may be willing to lower your bill.
“If you can’t afford to pay your bill in full at the time, you may have other options to pay smaller and more manageable amounts of money over a longer time period.”
Apply for a loan
A loan can help you manage the high healthcare costs.
Online and traditional banks can provide medical loans. This type of loan can be used to pay for medical care.
Before signing a loan, it is advisable to review the interest rate terms. Interest payments can add up. The rate you get will be calculated based on your credit history.
Use a credit card
You can pay the bill with a credit card.
Credit cards should be your last option. Credit cards charge high-interest rates, on average around 16 percent. Credit card bills can quickly mount the longer it takes you to pay off this debt.
You can reduce medical and healthcare costs by managing the payment of your bills. There are some ideas to consider.
Understand your health insurance
Understanding your health insurance can help you keep costs down.
If a doctor is not in your network, you may be hit with high healthcare costs. Doctors who are out of network can accept the rates guaranteed by your insurance.
Lower copays can be achieved by finding a healthcare professional in your network. You can check with your insurance provider to find out if there are any doctors in your network.
It is important to understand your benefits. You should review your insurance plan to make sure that you get the services you need.
Apply for a premium tax credit
Some people who bought health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace may be eligible for a tax credit. You can use the tax credit to lower your health insurance premiums or the amount of money you pay each month to have health insurance.
The amount of your premium tax credit will depend on the estimated household income that you list on your insurance application. To find out if you’re eligible and to apply, visit the website for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Premium tax credits can be applied in full to your insurance premiums.
You can save a lot of money on your medical costs if you shop around.
It is a good idea to start with your health insurance. You can find an option that works best for your budget and medical needs by comparing different plans and providers.
You can shop for drugs. Generic drugs can be used to help save on medical costs.
Look for patient assistance programs
Some pharmaceutical manufacturers offer assistance to patients.
“PAPs help low-income individuals who can’t afford their medication or don’t have health insurance, because they are uninsured. If you are in a program, you can receive discounted or free drugs.”
You can find programs at the website for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation or by checking with your pharmacy.
Participate in a clinical trial
A clinical trial is a unique way to lower healthcare costs.
You can receive medical treatment or drugs at no cost for your participation in the program.
Discuss with your doctor whether clinical trials are a good option for you. Every clinical trial has different eligibility criteria.
- Sex is determined by birth.
- Medical history.
- Current health status
Take care of yourself
Flare-ups and other UC problems can lead to a higher financial burden from expensive hospitalizations, more medications, time off of work, and even surgery.
Help keep your condition under control.
- A symptom journal is what I keep.
- Eating a healthy diet and avoiding food that is inflammatory.
- “It’s important to prioritize your mental health.”
- Managing stress levels.
- Taking your medication as prescribed.
It can be expensive to manage ulcerative colitis. Taking steps to lower your medical costs can help save you money.
There are many ways to pay for medical bills. Premium tax credits and patient assistance programs can help you keep medical costs low and manage your finances with UC.