Going under the knife is stressful enough without adding financial worries on top of it. To make sure you can focus on your health, it’s important to financially prepare for a surgery in advance. Here are some tips to help you estimate the cost of your operation so you don’t get any surprise bills after you get home from the hospital.
Talk to Your Doctor
To properly financially prepare for a surgery, you need to know how much it’s going to cost. Talk to your doctor and see if they can give you an estimate.
If not, ask them what the surgery will entail so you can relay that information to your insurance provider. Find out what kind of prescriptions, medical equipment, or physical therapy you might need after the surgery so you can figure out how much they’ll cost too.
Make sure you verify that the hospital, surgeon, and anesthesiologist are in-network. If they’re not, it could substantially increase the cost of your procedure.
Call Your Insurance Provider
It’s also important to call your insurance provider well in advance of your surgery. They may need to pre-authorize your operation, especially if it’s an expensive one. They’ll also be able to give you some insight into what parts of your procedure are covered and how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
Figure Out How to Pay Your Medical Bills
In order to pay your medical bills, you may have to cut out unnecessary expenses like eating out and dip into your emergency fund.
But even after trimming your budget and draining your savings, you may not be able to afford your bills on your own. If you don’t think you’ll be able to cover the cost of your surgery, there are charities and financing options that can help.
Organizations like the Healthwell Foundation and Patient Access Network help people with certain conditions cover their medical expenses. You might also consider starting a GoFundMe to raise money for your surgical costs.
Many hospitals will put you on a payment plan if you tell them you can’t afford your bills. As a last resort, you can take out a personal loan to finance your operation.
Financially Prepare for Recovery
To fully financially prepare for a surgery, you need to consider your recovery too. Some procedures only require you to take a few days off of work, while others have much longer recovery periods.
Ask your doctor how long it will take for you to heal and when you’ll be able to return to work. If you have a desk job, your employer may allow you to work remotely so you don’t have a big lapse in income.
But if you have a fairly physical job, you may not be able to do it while you’re recovering. So you’ll need to figure out how to cover your living expenses during that time.
You may be able to use your paid time off or get on short-term disability to pay your bills. If you have to live off of your savings, you can tell your utility company and creditors about your situation. They may be willing to reduce or suspend your payments during your recovery.
Create a Will
Although it’s unpleasant to think about, every surgery has risks. If something happens to you during the operation and you don’t have a will, your assets may not be distributed the way you would’ve wanted.
That’s why it’s a good idea to create a will before your operation if you don’t already have one. Online services like LegalZoom can help you make one quickly and cheaply.
Having surgery can cause a great deal of physical, emotional, and financial strain. But hopefully these tips will help alleviate your financial worries so you can focus on healing.
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