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Tapping into the emergency fund for health care?

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  • Tapping into the emergency fund for health care?

    I'm 26 and still have my wisdom teeth. Because I recently turned 26, I don't have insurance (and didn't have dental to begin with)...

    I paid $80 out of pocket for an x-ray yesterday to get a referral to an oral surgeon (mind you, we just moved to a new area so I am a new patient everywhere). They informed me that my bottom two teeth (which I originally made the appointment for) are infected, causing my jaw to swell, and affecting my ability to breathe properly. The top two are causing swelling in my sinuses.

    I had to get on an antibiotic before the oral surgeon will even see me for an exam to schedule a date for the extraction. I grabbed that yesterday ($0 prescription at Publix). Then I'll have to pay $98 for the exam to see how much the surgery will cost me. After that, I can apply for a "Care Credit" to cover the cost of the surgery (which we are looking at $800 to $1k for all four) or we can scrape our emergency fund and have a little bit leftover.

    I'm hesitant to empty out our EF with us just having relocated here but I'm also hesitant about more debt (we've been working on paying a lot of ours off). That being said, either way, the procedure needs to be done. It has become life-threatening and I'm in pain daily.

    Would you apply for the credit or just empty out your EF?

  • #2
    What's the interest rate on the Care Credit?
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
      What's the interest rate on the Care Credit?
      There is a six-month period with no interest and after that it is 26.99%. I don't believe we'd have any trouble paying it within the 6 months.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by amastewa93 View Post

        There is a six-month period with no interest and after that it is 26.99%. I don't believe we'd have any trouble paying it within the 6 months.
        I tend to be all about cash flow, even when it doesn't make the utmost sense financially. Rather than burning your EF all at once, I'd see nothing wrong with taking the credit and paying it out over 5-6 months even if that still requires tapping the EF along the way. But absolutely pay it before interest starts accruing. No way do you want to get hit with 27% interest even on a relatively small bill.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


        • #5
          I used care credit to pay for my Lasik last August. They did a 0% for 12 months deal so I've been paying $333/mo and it will be paid just in time for interest to begin accruing. I could have paid cash, but why when it costs me nothing to spread out the payments?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by riverwed070707 View Post
            I used care credit to pay for my Lasik last August. They did a 0% for 12 months deal so I've been paying $333/mo and it will be paid just in time for interest to begin accruing. I could have paid cash, but why when it costs me nothing to spread out the payments?
            We did the same thing for our daughter's braces. Actually, we could have gotten a small discount for paying cash upfront but decided it wasn't worth the risk of paying upfront and not being satisfied at some point (I think I posted that question here at the time).
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


            • #7
              Do any of your current credit cards have balance transfer offers? I considered paying in full with my airline cc to get the discount and then transferring it to another for 6 months interest free, but I think I will just pay in full when I get Invisalign. The transfer card has a 4% fee, which wouldn't make it worth it to me but it seems like a better deal for you. Otherwise, I would just use the Care Credit and pay it off before the interest starts.
              Last edited by msomnipotent; 05-07-2019, 01:28 PM.

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              • #8
                Yep I'd put it on the Care Card and try to get it paid off in the 6 mos b/4 the interest starts. Then if you can't get it paid off take the remainder out of your EF.

                Hope you get relief soon! I had my wisdom teeth until I was 42 and when those things started moving it was a pain like I had never felt. Lucky for me it started on a weekend and I was able to get them out on Tuesday so not too long to suffer.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the input everyone! I posted the same question in a debt-free group and got berated for thinking about taking on new debt haha. But, especially because we just relocated and are far from family/friends right now, I don't feel comfortable bottoming out our EF. We will go with the Care Credit and get it paid off before the interest hits.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Thrif-t View Post
                    Yep I'd put it on the Care Card and try to get it paid off in the 6 mos b/4 the interest starts. Then if you can't get it paid off take the remainder out of your EF.

                    Hope you get relief soon! I had my wisdom teeth until I was 42 and when those things started moving it was a pain like I had never felt. Lucky for me it started on a weekend and I was able to get them out on Tuesday so not too long to suffer.
                    I'm looking at two rounds of antibiotics before the surgeon will even see me. Ugh. My bottom jaw is SO swollen. I'm hoping to have them out before the end of the month (fingers crossed). It is miserable!

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                    • #11
                      Wanted to provide an update for you all. I saw the oral surgeon for an exam and price on surgery last week. I've had bone loss in my jaw, which was scary to hear. They'll have to break up all of the wisdom teeth to safely remove them (ugh). They also have to put me completely under anesthesia. The total... with no insurance... came to an astounding $2,446! I was floored. However, I called around to a few other places, explaining the situation and what I've told about the condition of my teeth... some places would have charged $3,000+, so I guess I'm not doing too bad. No one quoted me less than the place I'm currently going to schedule the surgery.

                      We are definitely going to be using credit for this. Because I'm self-employed, I needed my husband to cosign on the credit. He started a new job two weeks ago, so we have to wait until the end of the week to complete our application so he can provide a pay stub after he receives his first paycheck. Once we get the credit, I'll be scheduling the surgery. It has been an extremely painful few weeks. Ready for it to be over!

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                      • #12
                        I just paid $2500 for wisdom teeth extraction for my son this week. Your emergency fund is for emergencies. You have an emergency. Use it and replenish it later. If you explain your situation to the doctor, they may let you pay them $1K and then pay the rest in monthly installments over the next 6 months or so. That would be a lot better than getting some card and charging it. All that "Care Card" sounds like is a marketing scheme to get you into a very high interest credit card account with 6 months no interest. These things are in the doctors' offices and hospital lobbies and are right there in front of you in your hour of distress. There is nothing magical about that card - it's just a card with "care" in the name to make you think you need it for medical care.

                        If you must get a credit card, I bet you can get a lot better deal on one by shopping around, and with literally no job and no cosigner.

                        Here is one offering 0% APR for the first 18 months.
                        https://www.creditcards.com/credit-c...card/?catid=11
                        Last edited by TexasHusker; 05-23-2019, 03:21 PM.
                        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                          I just paid $2500 for wisdom teeth extraction for my son this week. Your emergency fund is for emergencies. You have an emergency. Use it and replenish it later. If you explain your situation to the doctor, they may let you pay them $1K and then pay the rest in monthly installments over the next 6 months or so. That would be a lot better than getting some card and charging it. All that "Care Card" sounds like is a marketing scheme to get you into a very high interest credit card account with 6 months no interest. These things are in the doctors' offices and hospital lobbies and are right there in front of you in your hour of distress. There is nothing magical about that card - it's just a card with "care" in the name to make you think you need it for medical care.

                          If you must get a credit card, I bet you can get a lot better deal on one by shopping around, and with literally no job and no cosigner.

                          Here is one offering 0% APR for the first 18 months.
                          https://www.creditcards.com/credit-c...card/?catid=11
                          I asked about paying a portion up front and they said they don't allow that, unfortunately. We won't have any problem paying the $2,500 within six months, we just can't shell it all out right now (especially after a hefty bill from relocating recently).

                          I'll definitely check into another type of credit card before opening this one... but I'm not sure I'd get the amount of money I need to cover this with very little credit (I just haven't had much time to establish any yet, which is why I needed a cosigner). I have one CC that has a $500 limit, my husband cosigned on my car, and I have student loans. Those three things haven't been around long enough to establish any great credit to have a lender think "let's give her $2,500."

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                          • #14
                            You might check to see if there is a clinic in your area that performs oral surgery to folks with smaller/no incomes. You could probably call your municipality and find that out. A lot of times, municipalities contract with certain providers to help folks that don't reasonably have the funds to pay for something this large. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of such - yours is the situation that these arrangements are geared for. These clinics often offer their services on a sliding scale based upon your available income and/or resources.

                            Otherwise I would keep poking around before I commit $2500. Try oral surgeons in neighboring towns. Maybe even a couple hundred miles from you. I did some shopping around here and, like you, found the range to be from $2000 to $3500. We settled on one that was $2400 but they knocked 10% off for cash payment ($100 bills), and that was a substantial savings. If your teeth are not impacted, you can shave off $500-800 by going with local anesthesia only. The smells and sounds are creepy, but you won't feel anything. Might be worth checking into.
                            How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                              You might check to see if there is a clinic in your area that performs oral surgery to folks with smaller/no incomes. You could probably call your municipality and find that out. A lot of times, municipalities contract with certain providers to help folks that don't reasonably have the funds to pay for something this large. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of such - yours is the situation that these arrangements are geared for. These clinics often offer their services on a sliding scale based upon your available income and/or resources.

                              Otherwise I would keep poking around before I commit $2500. Try oral surgeons in neighboring towns. Maybe even a couple hundred miles from you. I did some shopping around here and, like you, found the range to be from $2000 to $3500. We settled on one that was $2400 but they knocked 10% off for cash payment ($100 bills), and that was a substantial savings. If your teeth are not impacted, you can shave off $500-800 by going with local anesthesia only. The smells and sounds are creepy, but you won't feel anything. Might be worth checking into.
                              Unfortunately, all four teeth are impacted so local anesthesia isn't an option. Traveling far isn't either - because we just moved here, my husband doesn't have any time off yet and will need to accompany me to the procedure and return to work after. We don't have any family in the area to ask for help with it. So going far outside our area just wouldn't make sense for us at this time.

                              I did call around about dental clinics but many of them said I made too much to be considered a small/low income to be eligible for any type of payment plan or discounted procedure.

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