* Please see “Financial Resources Page” for links to specific financial resources!
There are many complex issues to discuss here in the universe of medical financing, but first and foremost, it is crucial for patients (especially in the USA) to realize a some very important points.
1. Make sure you are insured! With Obamacare implemented, everyone by law must have insurance, and there is free government sponsored insurance for those who cannot afford private insurance. There is no longer a viable excuse for not being insured, and you are playing with fire every minute you are not insured!
2. Don’t base your initial treatment decisions solely on financial considerations, especially when dealing with a potentially terminal diagnosis. Be clear on your priorities. The most important factor to determine is “what treatment will give me the best chance of a cure or permanent remission from this disease, or the most possible relief from my injury?” Some people will reject a potentially lifesaving treatment because they don’t know if they can afford it or are afraid of losing their house or suffering other financial damage. However, what good is having a house if you are not alive to live in it?
* Make decisions in small baby steps. Try to look objectively at what treatment(s) will give you the best chances at an optimal medical outcome and choose based on that alone. Once it is decided what treatment is best, then you can tackle the financial issues.
2. Don’t panic when you get a bill. The bills and charges you receive from hospitals and practices can be arbitrary amounts that have not been broken down or itemized, and many times these bills are sent out before the insurance companies have negotiated the totals down to a reasonable amount and have paid their obligations. It can take up to a year or sometimes two years for the dust to settle, so don’t panic and jump on sending a check right away until the price has been negotiated and settled, and the costs have been itimized.