How can I lower my medical debt bills?
Every year, it’s estimated that nearly 700,000 Americans have to declare bankruptcy because of their medical debts.
This is mostly because of the high cost of medical care, combined with a lack of insurance. If you’re under-insured but have to visit the hospital for an emergency procedure, it’s entirely possible to get stuck with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re already facing a bill like this, however, there are things that you can do to get it lowered.
Start by contacting the hospital or clinic where you had your treatment and ask them about lowering your bills. Most times, hospitals are willing to offer people who ask the same price that they offer to those people who have insurance. This can knock 50% or more off of a hospital bill.
Next, scour the bill for unfamiliar charges and/or charges that are double-billed or too high. For example, charging for a hospital room is redundant if all other procedures were billed separately. Also look for medications that were prescribed but never delivered. In a separate phone call, talk to a hospital administrator who can negotiate these charges with you.
Finally, contact your insurance company and make sure that there is no other way to get them to pick up more of the bill. Sometimes a change in a policy can cover a doctor or clinic that formerly wasn’t covered. Other times, a helpful administrator might be able to change the coding of charges so that they can be covered.
Once you have gone through these steps, you should have the lowest possible hospital bill. Now it’s time to make a plan to get the debt paid off. Start making plans to get the debt paid off by negotiating a payment plan with the hospital, or pay off the remaining medical debt balance with a credit card or personal loan so that you can make payments over time.