While out-of-pocket fees may come as a surprise, there’s a way to fit these expenses into even the smallest budgets. 

Out of pocket refers to the portion of your medical expense you have to pay with your own money before your health insurance kicks in to deal with the rest of the bill. As healthcare costs rise, the portion you have to cover climbs with them. Between deductibles, copay, and coinsurance, out-of-pocket expenses could cost you more than $1,000. 

That’s a lot to handle on a shoestring budget. If you’re worried about how you can see a doctor and balance your finances, here are some steps you can take to make this possible

Have a Medical Savings Fund

Setting aside some money each month in a medical emergency fund is one of the best ways to handle out-of-pocket expenses. Check in with your budget to see if there’s any spending you can scrap to free up cash. 

Funnel any money you save here into a savings account, making sure to contribute each month.

Regular contributions help build this small fund into a sizeable nest egg that can help you cover costly lab work or treatments.  

Take out a Cash Loan Online

If you have to rush to the ER before you can save up enough, cash loans online may bridge the gap. Cash loans online have fast, convenient applications available over the web, so you can apply any time and anywhere you get Internet, including the waiting room.

When it comes to getting cash online, the lending experts at MoneyKey recommend slotting your loan into your budget before accepting its terms. This helps you understand your costs and confirm you can afford your repayments. 

Pay close attention to when you have to repay what you owe. Although payday loans are popular cash advances used for unexpected emergency expenses, they can be challenging to repay on time if you’re on a tight budget.

If that doesn’t give you enough time to come up with the money, focus on online loans with monthly payments instead. They may have similar qualifying requirements as payday cash advances, but they come with longer, more manageable terms. 

Visit In-Network Care Providers

Going out of network for care can instantly cause your out-of-pocket costs to skyrocket. While some insurance providers may charge you extra for these services, others may not even cover these costs at all. 

So how can you tell if you’re in or out of the network? Go online or speak to your health insurance provider. They’ll have a directory of approved healthcare providers ready to share. 

Negotiate for Discounts

A short conversation about your finances can go a long way to reducing your costs. Try it out during your appointment with the doctor, letting them know about your insurance situation. They’ll likely change their care by prescribing generic medication or excluding non-essential procedures and tests. 

You’ll also want to bring up your finances to the billing department. Many medical centers have financing options that allow you to pay what you owe in installments. 

Although this won’t lower your costs, a financing plan does spread out your bill over multiple payments, working similarly to online loans with monthly payments that offset the cost of a short-term payday cash advance. 

Bottom Line

Remember these tips the next time you need to see a doctor or specialists. They’ll help you reduce the medical expenses you’ll have to pay out of pocket.