Paying off a medical debt can seem an insurmountable challenge. These expenses are often unplanned and can still weigh you down even with the help of insurance.
Medical debt is a serious issue in the United State that can cripple your finances and pushes you into bankruptcy.
You don’t have to fret much as the main objective of this post is to help you with ways for eliminating medical bills and debt.
Review The Bills
The first thing to do if you want to clear your medical debt is to review the bills. Mistakes do happen, and one of the things that make medical bills so huge some most times is duplicate billing and unauthorized charges and errors.
Also, make sure your insurance company has paid for all covered expenses and your medical provider has accounted for such payments
Negotiate The Cost
The best time to negotiate your medical cost is before treatment but you can still ask your medical provider to adjust your bills afterward. One thing to know is that hospital can bill you up to the maximum charges if you don’t have insurance. Negotiate with them to help you reduce it to the same amount an insurance company or Medicare will pay.
Check If You Qualify For An Income-driven Hardship Plan
Most hospitals and medical providers make adjustments and accommodations for patients with low income but a high level of debt. If your medical provider offers this type of assistance, they may wave some portion of the debt and divide the rest into manageable payments.
Seek Financial Assistance or Charity Care Program
You can ask your hospital if they have any financial assistance policy or charity care program to offer for people with low income. Non-profit hospitals will surely have this in place while some for-profit hospitals may also have as well. You can also search for charitable organizations that help low-income consumers with medical debt.
Make a Payment Plan
Try and work a payment plan with your medical provider with low or zero interest at all. Make sure you have the repayment agreement in writing form.
Use Medical Credit Cards
Medical credit cards are only meant for medical expenses. Before you transfer money from your credit card, ensure your medical providers accept medical cards as it is not all hospital that accepts medical cards. Negotiate with your provider first before taking this step.
Hire A Medical Bill Advocate
Sometimes some information might not be privy to you but will be a one-time glance by an advocate. A medical bill advocate will help you wade through tons of information, assists you in appeals against your insurance company, help with negotiations with your medical provider to secure a reduction in the debt, or help secure a convenient repayment plan. This may not be quite reasonable if your debt is some few hundred dollars, you will have to pay the professional advocate for his service.
If your debt is sent to a collection agency, you can as well follow all the above steps in ensuring you reach a reasonable agreement but make sure you don’t pay more than you owe or incur high-interest debts that will be difficult to offset.
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