Many of us will have some health crisis occur in our lives. Few are lucky and have health insurance from work, Medicare, or Obamacare. Even the ones who do have health insurance end up getting screwed because of the complicated fine print.
However, regardless of whether or not one has insurance, somehow we all end up with a great many bills that lead to medical debt. At the most traumatic and confusing time in our life we need help and the system fails us. Read on and hopefully we can show you some methods to sort out your situation positively.
Talk to a Social worker at the hospital
If this is a hospital bill a social worker can help by guiding you in the the right direction. They can help from applying for Medicaid or Medicare and may help you apply for other available assistance. Getting approved does take time but once you let them know, billing will not call you to collect on your bills. This gives you more time to get your finances on track and make a budget to pay off your bills.
Don’t ignore your bills
You must make an effort to pay your bills or at least don’t ignore your bills and speak to someone. Ignoring just makes things worse. Makes the billing think you’re not willing to pay your bills and may send you to collections. From there things will get worse for you including your lowering your credit score.
Talk to the billing department
Talk to billing to see if there is anything they can do to help you with the bill. If it’s a doctor bill it’s more likely that you’ll need to see the doctor again so don’t let the bill go to collections or the office may not schedule your next appointment.
You can negotiate your debt with the hospital. If you’re self paying for your bills hospital may give you up to 50% off your bill. You just have to be willing go speak up and perhaps talk to a financial counselor.
Read and understand your bills
Make sure to go over your bills. Sometimes bills can get complicated. If you don’t understand a charge on the bill ask questions. There could be errors on the bill. Don’t be afraid to dispute a charge, it’s your money!
If they are calling and or harassing you the first thing you should do is ask for a debt validation. Read our article on debt validation
Often doctor’s office and hospitals have resources available for individuals who’re not able to pay their bills. You just have to be willing to take advantage of these resources to help them help you.