When your medical bills are more than you can afford to pay, you can turn to a variety of sources to look for grants and other types of financial assistance. You do not need to take on the full burden of paying for your bills, especially if your income is low. As you are looking for grants, stay in touch with the medical billing department and set up a payment plan to begin paying what you can on your bills.
Many hospitals offer financial assistance for people who cannot afford their medical bills. If you can, talk to the billing department at the hospital or the medical facility before you even leave the hospital. Ask whether they have any grants or other assistance programs available. You can also call the hospital or facility where you received treatment when you get the bill and ask about grants to help you manage the cost. Some hospitals, instead of offering grants, may significantly reduce or waive some of the fees that they billed you for the services. This is especially true if you are uninsured and explain that you will need to pay for the services out-of-pocket and cannot afford the bill.
Churches often have compassion budgets to help people in the congregation or the community who are struggling with financial costs. If your medical bills are beyond your ability to pay, contact your church, if you attend one, and ask whether they have money available to help you pay your bills. You can also have people you know tell their churches about your situation and financial needs. Some churches, instead of taking money from a general compassion fund, might allow you to tell the congregation about your situation and take a special offering on a Sunday so that all of the funds will go toward paying your bills.
If your income is below your state's threshold for Medicaid care, you might qualify for Medicaid to cover part or all of your medical bills, especially if the bills have resulted in a loss of income because you can no longer work. Contact your state's Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about Medicaid.
If you work, ask your employer about any grants the company may have to help employees with medical bills. Employers often set up financial assistance programs for education, and some also provide assistance for medical bills. The human resources department is the best place to begin your search, although if the corporate office is located elsewhere, the human resources employee might direct you to someone there instead. If you are married and your spouse also works, check with your spouse's employer as well.
When you have medical bills that are due to a specific illness or condition, contact a national foundation that researches that condition and ask for information about getting grants to pay for your treatment. For example, if you have hospital and treatment bills due to multiple sclerosis, try contacting the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, National MS Society, or Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. A simple online search can help you find organizations to contact regarding your type of medical care.