When You’re Down and Can’t Get Up: How You Can Pay Your Medical Bills

woman shaking doctor's hand

Mental health issues are becoming an increasingly common concern for people nowadays. Depression, stress, and anxiety issues are just some problems that individuals struggle with every day. An estimated 38 million Americans suffer from mental health issues. While they can all be treated, the trouble is that it can be expensive. Those with disposable income would be able to handle the bills, but not everyone is that lucky. Fortunately, if you can’t handle the bills on your own, there are ways to help pay them off.

Private Insurance

The most common way to make payments easier for mental health is by using personal insurance. While there are insurance companies that do not cover mental health issues, there are several that do. A person has a couple of choices when they use their health insurance plan to pay for mental health treatment. A common approach is an indemnity plan. People can visit any health provider they want then they can contact their insurance company for a reimbursement of their expenses. Some insurance companies don’t offer this because they don’t have control over how much they have to pay.

Insurance companies prefer the managed care approach. This is where the insurance companies try to treat you using the most cost-effective methods available. For that to happen, the company chooses specific health care providers that they will support your treatment. As long as you use the specific providers, you don’t have to pay anything. The problem is that effective treatment may need something more expensive.

If you want to avoid paying high premiums, you might need to inquire with your company about getting group insurance. Good companies offer this as a benefit to attract and retain employees. Group insurance spreads the risk to an entire group and allows for lower premiums. When you are looking for a job, good health insurance that covers your mental health issues should be one of your priorities.

nurse and elderly

Government Aid

The problem with private insurance is not everyone can afford it. Fortunately, there are government benefits that you can apply for that will help with your mental health. The simplest benefit you can apply for is Social Security. If you have worked a certain amount of time and paid your Social Security dues, then you are eligible for disability benefits. While mental health disabilities are harder to apply for than physical disabilities, you have a good chance of approval. Take note that these disability benefits will only apply to those who expect to be out of work for more than 12 months.

If you are 65 and older, Medicare is another possible option for those looking to help pay for their mental health treatment. They provide basic protection for healthcare costs. There are two programs that you will need to focus on: the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) and the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) programs.

For those who have low or no income, Medicaid can help them out. Drop by local welfare offices to see what you can qualify for. Each state has specific rules on who qualifies so you need to check them to ensure that you can meet the requirements.

Free Resources

While it is good that there are ways to support mental health treatments, it is also possible to get some free help. This usually comes in the form of a self-help group. Many of these groups focus on a particular issue. For example, addiction groups are some of the most common out there, but others deal with abuse, depression, and more. They can help guide you in handling your mental health issues. But they should not be your sole lifeline. Combining them with normal therapy can be very effective.

If you are religious, you might be able to turn to your local church or synagogue. Pastoral counselors can be a big help and assist at zero or even minimal fees. These counselors often have professional training and can point you in the right direction when it comes to handling your issues.

Help With Medication

One of the biggest expenses when it comes to mental health is medication. Antidepressants and others can help improve mental health issues a lot, but patients need regular dosages. If you find them expensive, look around for patient assistance programs. They can help cut down on the expenses of medication by either paying for the medicine completely or supplementing a patient’s buying power.

Seeking treatment for mental health issues should not be a burden. There are a variety of resources out there that can help with the financial burden of treating them. With their help, you will be able to get into the best mental condition possible.

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