Having to pay expensive medical bills is something many Americans are frightened of causing them to neglect the medical care they need to avoid debt. That fear has become more prevalent recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing many people to lose their jobs and the health insurance that coincides with their employment.
Despite the fact that medical bills for medications and a variety of other needs can add up in a hurry, there are a number of government agencies and charitable organizations willing and able to help defray many of those costs
Assistance for those with limited resources is available through non-profit and federal government grants, along with numerous public and private organizations, that provide financial assistance for those who require assistance paying their medical bills. Those with low incomes or have poor credit may qualify for these programs. In addition, government aid, as well as non-profit grants, tends to also be tax free.
Money to help individuals pay for medical bills may also be available through pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, along with local or national stimulus packages. There are many other organizations that offer financial aid such as the United Way, who raise money to help those who need it.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a stimulus package that was signed into law on March 27, 2020, may also be available for those in need. The package offers assistance in many forms for individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In Indiana, the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) Plus program is tremendously beneficial to those who qualify, and other state funded programs around the country may include TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), Medicaid, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Around the country there are hospitals that will work with patients on their medical bills by coming up with creative ways to assist individuals in devising a payment plan with small monthly payments that will make family budgets more manageable. Be truthful with your hospital’s billing department about what you can and can’t afford to pay. It’s best to share your monthly income and other debts with them, as this will help provide and accurate picture of your financial situation.
I cannot stress enough the importance of not delaying health care during this time of COVID-19. People who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately. If you are ill with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your health center or clinic before coming to your appointment. At Eskenazi Health, please call 317.880.7666 before coming to your appointment. Health care professionals are available 24/7 to answer questions on symptoms and direct you to the most appropriate care.
Broderick Rhyant M.D.
Chief Physician Executive
Eskenazi Health Center Forest Manor