Medical emergencies can happen when you least expect it. And if you don't have insurance or if your insurance doesn't cover your care, you could be left with a hefty medical bill. If you're currently facing a medical bill you can't afford, it's important for you to realize that you're not alone and that you do have options. By keeping some important guidelines in mind, you can manage your medical debt without sacrificing your financial stability in the process.

DO Review Your Bill for Errors

Start by taking a long look at your bill. It should contain a detailed breakdown of how much you're being charged for each service, test, or treatment provided. Mistakes do happen, so if you spot anything that appears to be an error or you appear to be charged for something you didn't receive, don't hesitate to contact the billing department of the medical facility. If you're confused about anything on your bill, you should do the same; somebody from the billing department or an on-staff medical coder should be able to assist you.

DON'T Charge it to a Credit Card

When you're faced with a large bill, it can be tempting to charge it to your credit card. In most cases, however, this isn't a smart way to go. Unless you can afford to pay off that credit card bill in its entirety by your next due date, you're likely going to end up facing hefty interest charges, which can only further your financial hardship and harm your credit score over time.

DO Talk With Your Healthcare Provider

Typically, the best option to consider when you're struggling to pay a medical bill is to contact your healthcare provider directly and explain your situation to them. Most healthcare facilities these days are quite accommodating to their patients, so they may be willing to work with you by putting you on a payment plan that makes paying off that bill a lot more feasible for your budget.

DON'T Overlook Medical Finance Options

As a last resort, if your healthcare provider isn't willing to work with you, consider exploring outside medical finance or medical funding options. There are plenty of third-party providers who can approve you for a short-term, or a low- or no-interest loan to cover the cost of your medical bills. Often times, these are credit-based, so this is an ideal option if you already have a decent credit score.

If you're a medical provider, you may want to consider medical funding services to make the payment process easier and to better the financial standing of your establishment.