This article was contributed by:
Lidia Staron – Content Writer
Lidia Staron has been working as a writer, editor and literary coach for 5 years. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning and decision-making process. You can find professional insights into her writings.
How to Deal with the Child’s Medical Expenses
When we get sick, we usually just deal with it ourselves. Most of us probably pop a few pills, get some vitamin C into our system and sleep it off. When a child gets sick, though, serious or not, we worry. That’s because their bodies are not yet fully equipped in dealing with illness. At least, not like us.
As parents, it is then our responsibility to educate ourselves about dealing with a child’s medical expenses. Don’t worry, that’s what we are going to talk about today. In this article, we are going to discuss health insurance, how to get them, how to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance, and more.
Health Insurance for Children
There are usually three ways to get your child’s health insured. You can enroll your child in a government healthcare program, opt for a private health insurance provider, and finally, you can get him (or her) covered in your family plan. Check out your different options to know which one best fits your family’s needs and preferences.
But what about medical expenses that are not covered by insurance?
As you get your child insured, you will learn soon enough that there are actually a lot of medical expenses that are not covered by insurance like co-pays, deductibles, or even prescriptions. If you’re really strapped at the moment, there are personal loans for medical expenses, you can check out.
Here are more tips that can help you out in dealing with your out-of-pocket expenses:
● Some medical facilities offer discounts for those who pay in cash and depending on one’s situation. Some of them offer in-house financing as well. Be sure to ask around.
● Keep in mind that personal loans usually have a smaller interest rate than credit cards. Different financial institutions also offer different terms and rates.
● Opt for a fixed payment term. In this way, you only have a set rate to settle every month for the duration of the loan, and you won’t have to worry about increasing interest rates as long as you always pay on time.
But what about the families who got separated from divorce? Who should take a loan to shoulder the medical expenses?
Child Support—Who Pays What?
We believe that both parents should share equal responsibility for handling a child’s medical expenses. However, things can get a little bit complicated for families with child custody and support issues.
It is ideal for parents to draft an agreement beforehand that will be approved by Court as long as it works best for the interest of the child. As a rule of thumb, the parent who has custody of the child should deal with the expenses first. Just keep all the receipts and proofs of payment so that they can be dealt with and reimbursed by the parent responsible for handling the medical bills at a later time, especially during emergency cases when the child really needs medication or a procedure is done immediately.
Aside from child support issues, here’s another element where a child’s medical expenses can get complicated: on your taxes.
A Child’s Medical Expenses and Your Taxes
We understand, as parents ourselves, how expensive having children is. Fortunately for us, the Internal Revenue Service knows that too, hence they are willing to help. Aside from being able to deduct education and pregnancy costs, did you know that you can get your child’s medical expenses deducted too? In fact, you can get as much as $4000 in claims for each child that qualifies.
Your child must meet the following requirements:
● You have shared the same address with your child for more than six months.
● Your child must either be your biological child, stepchild, legally adopted child, or foster child.
● Your child must be under 19 years of age.
● Or, if your child is a full-time student, he must be at least under 24 years of age.
Finally, both you and your spouse can enjoy the same benefit as long as these expenses were paid out-of-pocket. If you are unsure of which items to claim and itemize, then we recommend for you to get the services of an accountant.
To Sum It Up…
A child’s medical expenses shouldn’t be too expensive, There are ways to lighten the load. First, you can sign up for your child in a health insurance program either offered by the government or a private insurance institution. You can also opt to get your child covered with your company’s family plan.
You and your spouse should then talk about how to handle the remaining expenses that are not covered by the policy. The parent who has custody over the child should handle the expenses unless the other parent has been agreed upon in court to be responsible for handling all the health-related needs of the child.
Lastly, parents can also file for tax claims for medical needs as long as the child meets the certain requirements provided by the IRS.
Having a child sick is always a heavy burden to bear for any parent, not just financially but emotionally as well. We sincerely hope, that in a way, we were able to help you out with this short article of ours. We wish your family well and see you in the next article!