High Medical Costs Stopping You from Getting Care? These 5 Tips can Help

It’s no secret that many Americans are seriously worried about the high price of health care.

I get it. My $9,000 medical bill almost gave me a panic attack.

At least I know I’m not alone.

According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of adults say they’re stressed by the cost of health insurance.

To make matters worse, West Health Institute reports that about 30% of Americans have had to choose between paying medical bills or using the money for basic necessities like food or housing.

The study notes that 40% of respondents say they skipped a medical test or treatment recommended by their physician because of the cost.

In fact, researchers say, people are more afraid of accumulating medical bills than they are of getting sick.

Dr. Zia Agha, chief medical officer at the West Health, says “the rising cost of health care is clearly having a direct consequence on Americans’ health and financial well-being.”

Since stress affects our mental and physical health, worrying about medical costs could lead to health problems that require medical care that leads to more bills that lead to more worry and…  well, you get the idea.

5 Tips to Try When You’re Stressed About Medical Bills

If worrying about medical costs keeps you up at night, these tips can help.

  1. Try to negotiate the price of treatments and tests with your insurance company and health-care provider.
  2. Get billing agreements in writing before having a recommended medical test.
  3. Schedule an online appointment with a board-certified physician to save money on office visits.
  4. If you owe an unpaid medical bill that was sent to collections, take proactive steps to pay it down.
  5. If the stress of medical bills becomes too much, try connecting with a free personal- therapy chatbot to talk it out.

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves telling readers about affordable ways to stay healthy, so look her up on Twitter (@lisah) if you’ve got a tip to share.