Medical Debt-Help & Advice

Canadian residents have to pay for multiple healthcare services including dental care and prescription drugs. A portion of costs is covered by public health insurance, but the rest is left to be covered by private insurance or savings.
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Overview

Dealing with medical problems can be stressful and everyone will deal with this in a different way. It can be very easy to stick your head in the sand and ignore the bill. Unfortunately, like all debt, it isn’t going to go away. Below are some actions you can take to help bring yourself out that hole:

Our health is important, and we are often overwhelmed by the massive figures that the media portray and all the solutions that are on offer, but at what cost? For the majority of healthcare services, Canadians have public healthcare insurance, commonly known as Medicare, which is funded by the government through the taxes they pay.

According to the Fraser Institute, the average payment for public healthcare insurance in 2017 ranged from just under $4k to close to $12.5k depending on the family type. However, this only covers a proportion of the budget and most citizens and residents will have to pay for private health insurance or out of their own pockets to cover the rest.

Citizens are expected to fund their own dental and optical costs, pay for private hospital rooms, ambulance services and any pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed to them. A report by the Canadian Cancer Society stated that 1 in 2 Canadians will get cancer in in their lifetime and 1 in 4 will die from the disease, making it one of the main causes of death in the country.

For those who are given oral medication to treat their cancer, it can cost thousands of dollars per month just to get the treatment that could be the difference between life and death. In a report posted by the statistic portal Statista show that in 2018 the average cost per person for healthcare increased to $6839.

There have been calls for the government to reform the system, with previous strategies falling short, and it seems to be inevitable that this will happen with 76% of Canadians being open to using private healthcare just to get value for their money.

Overview

The average payment for public healthcare insurance in 2017 ranged from just under $4k to close to $12.5k depending on the family type

How Medical Bills Can Affect Your Life

Health problems are hard to deal with in their own right, however they can cause a chain reaction with other elements of your everyday life. This can impact your life in many ways.

Personal Finances

If you are sick or injured, more often than not you may have to stay off work for a period of time. If this is a lengthy period, most employers will reduce your income. This can often cause issues trying to pay not only the medical bills you owe for the health services you needed but also the essential bills needed to run your home.

According to Bankruptcy Canada, medical problems are one of the common reasons for bankruptcy for this reason. This can often cause an almost domino effect and people max out their credit cards, take out loans and overdrafts just to get by.  Illness can take a lot from a person, but the after affects are often what consumes people.

Mental Health

No one’s health is the same, and depending on a person’s circumstances they will all, mentally, deal with their situation differently. Physical health and mental health are often considered separately, but according to the Mental Health Organization charity, both are more often than not a direct result of each other.

Your health can sometimes feel like a punishment and adding in high bills for the help you need can lead to anxiety, depression and stress. If you fall into the vicious cycle of using other forms of credit to help you get by, this can often result in making conditions worse.

Relationships

People often look for support in times of illness because this is when they are at their lowest. This can often cause avoidance of the topic of the bill because getting healthy again is more important which then results in reoccurring arguments because, deep down, you know it needs to be paid.

Certain illnesses make it difficult to be personally responsible for yourself, and so the burden of your finances may fall on a family member or significant other. This can put an enormous amount of stress on them and result in relationships breaking down because it becomes too much for you both to handle.

Warning Signs

Being sick or injured can often steal focus for most people, but if you have medical bills piling up then the signs below will probably sound familiar to those who are struggling:

  • Using further credit avenues such as credit cards, loans and overdrafts to get by
  • Sidestepping the topic and avoiding having a conversation about your struggles
  • Experiencing symptoms of stress or anxiety over paying the bill
  • Missing payments on other priority bills to ensure you have enough for the bill payments

It’s very easy to emotionally support someone you know in a dire medical situation, but most will not think about the struggles of paying for it. Below are some signs you may recognize if someone you know is struggling to keep up with their medical bills:

  • A palpable shift in a relationship
  • Seeming stressed and/or anxious for no obvious reason
  • Avoiding the topic and showing signs of irritation if it is brought up
  • Frequently using their credit cards or overdraft

If you are uncertain what to do next, there are companies available to you who may be able to negotiate a solution on your behalf.

How to Get Help

Dealing with medical problems can be stressful and everyone will deal with this in a different way. It can be very easy to stick your head in the sand and ignore the bill. Unfortunately, like all debt, it isn’t going to go away. Below are some actions you can take to help bring yourself out that hole:

Use Your Voice – You’ll always have support when you’re sick, however opening up to one person about your financial struggles can often lead you to the help you need to face the issue at hand.

Work with Them – Contact your insurance company or medical service provider to try and negotiate payments or come up with a payment plan. This is often the best option if you believe you have been overcharged.

Seek Out Help – At Money Advice Canada we’re here to help. Our expert advisors offer free, confidential and non-judgmental advice, no matter the reason for your debts.

Warning Signs

Our expert advisors offer free, confidential and non-judgmental advice, no matter the reason for your debts

How we can help you with your debt?

You’re on your way to resolving your debt problems, this is what will happen next.

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We will then run through all of the options available to you and advise you on which is the best option for you
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We will then help you put the debt solution in place that will help you get back on track

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