January 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Dealing with the financial fallout of childhood illnesses
To a parent, there is nothing more terrifying than learning your child has a serious or life-threatening illness. For nearly every parent, protecting their child's life and health is their most important priority. Parents of sick children often sacrifice everything to help their kids get the treatment they need.
Unfortunately, though, treatment for childhood illnesses usually comes at a great expense. When a family's resources are diverted toward paying for a child's medical care, it is not uncommon for the family to fall behind on their other bills. Many end up facing overwhelming debt and even bankruptcy.
This is especially true when the other costs of caring for a sick child are factored in. Parents are paying for more than just medical treatment -- transportation costs, increased utility bills, home renovations and missed time at work are also extremely common.
Managing medical debt
If you are struggling with the increased stress that comes with a childhood illness, know that you are not alone. You may want to consider talking with the staff at the hospital where your child is being treated to see if they can connect you with a support group.
It can also be helpful to learn some new strategies for managing your finances in light of your child's medical condition. Consider the following tips to keep medical debt under control:
-Understand your insurance: Understanding how your benefits work can help minimize your out of pocket charges. Also check to see which providers are in-network and which aren't, since you will likely get a better price in-network.
-Fight back when necessary: If your insurance company denies coverage or doesn't pay enough, ask for an appeal and get your child's doctor to back you up. If the insurer continues to be unreasonable, consider making a claim with your state's insurance department.
-Stay organized: Keep a dedicated file for receipts relating to your child's medical treatment. These expenses can often be written off at tax time. In addition, keep records of all the treatments your child receives and review your invoices to see that you have not been inadvertently overcharged.
-Ask for help: Most hospitals have case managers who can help you negotiate fees or set up payment plans if your bills are unmanageable. In addition, don't be afraid to reach out to family, friends and community organizations for help -- financial or otherwise. It can be awkward to ask, but you'll probably find that most people want to help, but don't know what you need.
If your bills become too much to manage, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. A successful bankruptcy will discharge most debts, including medical bills and credit card debt. Talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can review your case and help you understand your options.
Article provided by William G. Schwab and Associates
Visit us at http://www.uslawcenter.com---
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