Tips on How to Settle Your Medical Bills

Tips on How to Settle Your Medical Bills | Northeast Ohio Bankruptcy Lawyers

Dealing with illness and injury can be stressful and debilitating. The frustrations are made worse by unexpected medical bills. Even if you have insurance, co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles could add up to a significant amount, causing you to lose income.

Due to the high cost of healthcare, there are indications that medical bills often go hand-in-hand with bankruptcy. A study carried out in 2019 showed that more than 60% of bankruptcies had healthcare-related bills. This is in stark contrast to 30 years ago where only 8% of bankruptcies were tied to healthcare expenses.

If you have rising debt due to medical expenses, here are a few tips:

Pay Attention to All of Your Bills

You need to go through everything that comes through the mail. Ignoring bills can cost you a lot in extra payments or even a lawsuit. When your medical bills go unpaid, the health provider places them under collections.

The bill is sent to people or agencies charged with debt collection. In a short time, an agent will start calling, writing, and texting, asking that you pay. It is not only frustrating, but when it gets to this point, it will also dent your credit score. A lawsuit could be filed against you.

Scrutinize Your Bills for Errors

You also need to realize that there can be mistakes from your provider. It could be that you were charged for a procedure you never had, or it could be extra charges. It might also be that your insurance didn’t cover the costs correctly so make sure you investigate why. You need to scrutinize the bills to ensure they are correct.

You can request an itemized breakdown of the costs to check for wrongful billing and unnecessary hidden charges. If you find mistakes, you can request the healthcare facility to put your debt on hold for 30 days, as you evaluate the bill. This way, you can avoid having your medical bills sent to collections.

Negotiate with Your Provider

Call the billing desk and ask to negotiate your debt. Go through the options with your provider and determine the best next course of action. Depending on the provider, you may be able to work out a no-interest payment plan.

Also, find out if your provider can accept the insurance rate. The insurance rate could be lower than what you are currently expected to pay. As long as you intend to pay the full amount at the insurance rate, many providers will agree to the arrangement.

Medicaid and Assistance

If you qualify for Medicaid, you can apply to ease the burden of repaying your healthcare debt. You appeal for support as long as you can demonstrate you will pay. Non-profit hospitals also assist those who can prove their economic status with financial records.

But even if your provider is a for-profit hospital, it may still have assistance as part of its internal policy, or the provider may be compelled to do so by state law. Also, you may be approved by some providers, even if you don’t strictly qualify. So it is always good to try, especially if you feel you are running out of options.

The worst time to take calls and answer letters from debt collectors is when you are recovering from an injury or accident. You can use these tips to find a plan that works for you. You can also call an attorney today to work through the legal jargon, find a solution, and settle the medical bills. We offer free bankruptcy consultations that can help you decide how to proceed.


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