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Financial management and health crisis

Most individuals do not like to think about the future with regard to possible illnesses and injuries which may strike at any time. However, in order to be financially responsible and provide a financial management plan should anything detrimental occur which makes working impossible, it is important to consider the options. Putting away funds into a savings account and obtaining a disability insurance policy are just two ways to protect oneself against some of life’s wrinkles which may occur.

Obtain Disability Insurance

One of the main reasons why most people are unable to adequately manage their finances after a medical crisis is a result of them being out of work due to their injuries or illnesses. Another safeguard for individuals who are interested in having some backup plan with regard to finances is disability insurance. Disability insurance is obtained for the purpose of having an income of some sort while being unable to work. The insured will pay a premium on their disability insurance and will be covered should anything happen to render them incapable of working.

The exact amount of the disability insurance benefits will depend on the individual policy itself. Disability insurance is a wonderful option for individuals who wish to have a safety feature in place should they be unable to work for one reason or another.

Tips for Promoting Financial Management During a Medical Crisis

Negotiate Payments

It is very important to stay in regular contact with the people on the other end of your bills. As soon as possible, call doctors' offices, billing departments, hospital business offices, creditors, and lending institutions to explain the change in your family's situation. Most of the time, people are willing to work with you. However, people do not know that you need help unless you tell them.

Some billing departments will want a letter from you stating that you are unable to pay your bills. Most doctors or hospital social workers are happy to write a letter on your behalf, explaining why more time is needed to pay a bill or to appeal an insurance company decision.

Creditors are usually lenient and will arrange payment schedules, and accept partial payments. But they need to hear from you. Even if you can only make a portion of a payment, it will show an attempt to keep up your side of the obligation.

If you are unable to pay a hospital bill:

  • Notify the appropriate offices as soon as you can.
  • Keep in touch with your creditors.
  • Remember to record the names and phone numbers of the people you are dealing with.
  • Document the date, time, and results of your phone communications.
  • Pay something — even a small amount — on each bill each month as a gesture of good faith.

Where to Get Help

Ask for a case manager. A case manager will help sort out your bills and help you make sense of paperwork. Update your case manager with new information and stay in frequent contact. Hospital business offices can be valuable too, by interpreting bills, estimating costs, or contacting your insurance company on your behalf.

Compare notes with other families who have dealt with catastrophic health issues. Their efforts may save you time and energy, and many families appreciate the support of those who have experienced similar problems.

Short- and long-term financial assistance is also available from various sources, including private as well as government agencies.

Agencies that may provide financial help:

  • charitable foundations
  • disease- or disability-related organizations
  • civic or social welfare associations
  • churches and community groups

If you have a child that is ill, government organizations can also assist in the medical and related care of your child. You don't need to be at poverty level to qualify; you may, in fact, be eligible for programs you never knew existed. Two such government programs that supplement the health insurance of a chronically or seriously ill child are Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As you research various avenues of assistance, ask your case manager about these and other options.

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