Medical emergencies are unfortunate realities of life. Here are some of the most common medical emergencies that people experience:
1. Bleeding- an injury that causes continuous bleeding.
2. Breathing difficulties- an asthma attack or an allergic reaction to something.
3. Collapses- a sudden collapse with no apparent cause.
4. Epileptic seizure/a fit- uncontrollable shaking, often referred to as epilepsy.
5. Severe pain- bad painful injury.
6. Heart attack- caused by a blood clot that blocks the artery.
These medical emergencies can be easily handled financially by following these few tips:
1. Comb through your hospital bill
If you have been handed over the hospital bill, review the medical bills. Check for errors like wrong services charges, duplicate charges, etc. If needed, take help from an expert.
2. Request for a discount
Reach out to the hospital and ask them to provide a discount on the total bill. Try writing a letter explaining your financial situation and request a reduction in the bill. The hospital may either reject your request, give you a discount or put you on a payment plan. It could be either of the three. So, there is a possibility of a positive outcome, so why not try it out.
3. Ask for financial help
Before you think of liquidating your assets, try seeking help from family and friends. Let them know your situation and ask for financial help. Don’t forget to give assurance that you will repay them when things settle down.
4. Consider a low-interest personal loan
Determine how much money you’ll need to cover the expenses and apply for a medical loan. A medical loan is simply a personal loan that is offered to you based on your credit score and history. If the credit score is good, you have a good chance of getting a low-interest personal loan with better loan terms. Ensure that you have a repayment plan in place before you get the medical loan.
5. Dispose of things not in use
Sell the things which you don’t use. Post free ads on relevant websites. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can earn just by disposing of the items that are of no use to you. While doing so, you clear the clutter in the house as well. To speed up the selling process, you may want to post ads on a reliable website.
6. Prioritise your spending
When in a financial emergency, you should find time to revisit and revise your monthly budget. Categorize your spending based on your essentials such as grocery, rent, bills, etc. and your non-essentials, such as magazine subscriptions, dining out, etc. Make a list of all your monthly expenses and rank them from highest to lowest priority. Take care of the essentials and cut back on the non-essentials. While doing so, be as stringent as possible.
To conclude, a medical emergency is sad, but it’s a fact of life. The best thing you could do is to stay prepared. Having health insurance coverage is one way of staying prepared for a medical emergency without putting a strain on your finances. Another way is building up an emergency fund. And if you are careful with your repayments, there are good reasons to believe that a personal loan is a great option for a medical emergency. That said, the above tips can help you cover your medical emergency without making you bankrupt.
Shiv Nanda is a financial analyst who currently lives in Bangalore (refusing to acknowledge the name change) and works with MoneyTap, India’s first app-based credit-line. Shiv is a true finance geek, and his friends love that. They always rely on him for advice on their investment choices, budgeting skills, personal financial matters and when they want to get a loan. He has made it his life’s mission to help and educate people on various financial topics, so email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.