Paying For Heart Surgery When You’re Not as Rich as Randy Travis

Travis performs

Travis performs “Three Wooden Crosses” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Very sad news broke this week about Randy Travis. The country crooner, whose hits ironically include a song titled “From the Hard Rock Bottom of my Heart,” was hospitalized with a life-threatening heart problem that arose from viral cardiomyopathy, a condition that is characterized by a weakening of the heart muscle due to a virus. The virus that caused this disease is usually pretty harmless, but in some patients, extremely dangerous complications can arise. For Travis, the complications weakened his heart, and he required hospitalization and emergency heart surgery.

Travis is pretty fortunate, financially.  He is also pretty wealthy. Therefore, the costs associated with this problem are not likely to set him back financially like they would most Americans. How can people who are not rich like Randy Travis pay for heart surgery?

The easiest way to pay for a heart surgery is to let someone else pay for it. This tip may sound like a joke, but it is the way most people pay for heart surgery. Insurance is a risk management system in which many people pay premiums so that they do not have to bear the entire brunt of a financial loss. Some will come out ahead by paying less in premiums than the amount of the health benefits they will receive. Others will be on the opposite end of the stick. Health insurance can come from the private market or the public coffers through programs like Medicare and Medicaid. While there might be a copay for these procedures with insurance, the insured will not have to pay the whole tab.

Another way to pay for heart surgery is by raiding a retirement account. This is not really advisable in most instances, but desperate times can call for desperate measures. The money can then be paid back over time in the best-case scenario, and getting the doctors paid off will take a major burden off of the back of any heart patient.

Taking out a home equity loan can also be a way to pay for a heart surgery. Those who have some equity built up in their home can sometimes find enough to pay off some emergency bills. Of course, it usually takes years to build up this equity, so many will not have this option available to them.

One final way to pay off a heart surgery without being rich like Randy Travis would involve getting a second job. This might cut down on the amount of time available for cardiac rehab, but the doctor will want his or her cut. It is likely that the hospital will be even more serious about getting paid. This will especially be the case if the hospital is for-profit. It might take some time, but those who are able to survive the extra work should be able to eventually pay off their bills.

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