Dialysis patients can experience many challenges both physically, emotionally and financially. The cost for dialysis treatment can be very expensive, where many patients are unable to pay for treatment. As a result, financial burden can be a huge barrier for patients to access proper medical care and treatment.
Financial Assistance For Dialysis Patients- 7 Things You Didn’t Know
1. Financial Assistance Programs
Many dialysis patients may be unaware of the financial assistance programs available to you. There are many options for financial assistance for dialysis patients nationally.
You can find these programs from the government by contacting your Social Services office in your state. These programs can provide ongoing monthly financial support, while other programs exist to provide low-cost health insurance cover.
Local and national non-profit organizations that specifically work with kidney patients and dialysis patients can also provide a range of services, resources and programs to deliver access to financial assistance.
Many of the programs available may not give you money, but offer a range of free services that can reduce your overall medical expenses related to being on dialysis.
There are also financial assistance programs offered by select pharmaceutical companies. Dialysis patients can access these programs in order to get free medication and/or low-cost medications that they would otherwise be unable to obtain.
2. Receiving Discounts For Household Expenses
Apart from receiving food stamps from the federal government which can help pay for basic food costs, dialysis patients can also reach out to utility companies for discounts too.
Many dialysis patients are unaware that electric, heating and water providers and companies can offer discounts for use of their services. Contacting your local utility company for further information is the first step to see if you are eligible for discounts.
Many utility companies after hearing your situation both medically and financially can provide some sort of discount under compassionate grounds. You may be required to provide further documentation that supports your need for financial assistance.
You are able to receive such discounts as the utility company will most likely want you to continue paying your bills on time and prefer to provide a discount as a compromise.
3. Negotiation Works
Many dialysis patients can feel uncomfortable or discouraged to negotiate your medical bills. However, many studies and surveys have shown that patients who participate in negotiating their medical bills will often receive some discount. This is through an overall discount which is applied to your bill or by cutting certain items and costs on your medical bill.
There are many forms of negotiation that can happen and that can help dialysis patients achieve the best results for financial assistance. Patients can firstly check for errors, mistakes and duplicates that can be commonly found on medical bills. Approaching your billing department to make sure these mistakes and errors are altered before making any payments can already cut major costs.
Dialysis patients can also find the market value and price of services and treatments that you are receiving. Comparing these fair market prices with the charge you have receive can also give you justification to ask for a reduction in your medical bill.
In addition, patients can also seek further discounts by suggesting to pay a lump sum in advance. This can help convince the hospital to allow you to get a bigger discount on your medical bills.
4. Medical Crowdfunding
Medical crowdfunding is the act of crowd sourcing the cost of your medical expenses online. This is a new trend where many dialysis patients are able to receive financial assistance from family, friends, community members and from the general public.
Crowdfunding for your medical expenses can be helpful online particularly if you require funds immediately for critical medical treatment and care. Many supporters, family members and friends want to help you in your time of need but can be unsure of the best way to do so.
By setting up a crowdfunding fundraiser, patients are providing a way for loved ones to show their support and have the biggest impact. You will then be able to determine the best use of the funds according to your medical needs and medical expenses.
Patients may run a medical crowdfunding page for free using services such as PeoplePledge, which offer the service at no charge on the patient.
Using more modern forms of connecting and reaching out to supporters can help give you the financial assistance you need in a much more quicker and effective way compared to traditional forms of financial assistance.
5. Speak To Your Bank
If you are struggling financially and have chosen to use credit cards and loans as a way to cover the cost for your dialysis treatment, then speaking with your bank about your options can help reduce any more financial strain that may result from using these forms of financial assistance.
Many patients are unaware of the options that banks can offer if you are going through financial difficulties with paying your medical bills. Speak to your local bank about how you can create a better payment plan that will help you pay your bills on time and also give a little more relief from the stress of medical debt.
Banks can also offer extensions of loan terms as well as decreasing the interest for a period of time in consideration of your medical condition and financial circumstances.
6. Collaboration With The Community
Having an open mind about how to get financial assistance is important. Collaborating with your local community is a great idea that many dialysis patients might not think to do.
Think of all the groups you may be involved in and how they can help you get financial assistance. In every community there are local clubs that will support individuals with a medical condition who is in need of medical assistance.
You can also get in contact with local, small businesses that can provide gifts for auctions and donations on behalf of the business. This can be helpful if you plan to create fundraising events to help fund for your medical treatment.
Just by having a conversation with these groups can help you get started on any potential fundraising opportunities, donations and support that may be available to you.
Writing a fundraising appeal letter can help reach out to hundreds of potential businesses, clubs and community groups in your state that can help you get financial assistance.
7. Workplace Insurance Entitlements
If you are employed and are now unable to work due to being on dialysis, you can check out your workplace insurance policies that are set in place to help people in your circumstance.
Every workplace or company is required to provide employees with some form of financial assistance. This is typically through employment insurance that allows individuals to seek medical attention free of charge, or at least at a lower cost than they would otherwise be able to get.
Get in contact with your human resource department or employer for more information about your insurance level, what is covered and how they can further assist.
Many workplaces will also be more than willing to run a fundraiser in-house to raise funds for your medical treatment if required. The most important thing is to ask to see what they can do to help.