Medical bills can be outrageously expensive and for those that don’t have the kind of insurance that takes care of it, medical expenses debt can be crippling. Staying on top of a medical bill in the hundreds of thousands is an endeavor that could intimidate anyone.
Patients and family members have been forced to rack up thousands in credit card debt, cash in early on retirement funds, and some even lose their homes while trying to keep up with medical bills.
Back in 2007, the Commonwealth Fund published a study that revealed more than 79 million Americans were struggling to pay their medical bills. Following the 2008 recession, you can only imagine that number has grown. The biggest reason that so many people are buried in medical debts is because of the continually rising cost of healthcare.
What Can You Do About Crippling Medical Debts?
Many people eventually file bankruptcy, and while that is a viable option, there may be other solutions still available to you.
- Take a deeper look at the bill. Request that the hospital send you an itemized list of expenses for you to review. The federal General Accounting Office has estimated that 99 percent of medical bills include overcharges. 99 percent! Check for duplicate or unrealistically high charges (i.e. $20 for a roll of toilet paper). Ask questions about medical jargon you don’t understand. It may be possible to knock off a couple thousand dollars by just reviewing the bill.
- Negotiate with the medical providers. Nine times out of ten, healthcare facilities are more than willing to negotiate the bill if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay it in full. Healthcare providers spend quite a bit of time hunting down people that skip out on the bill entirely, making them happy to deal with someone who is at least trying to pay something. Hospitals may be able to offer you a significant discount and set you up with a payment plan.
Just talk to the people in the billing department at the hospital. More often than not, they will try to help you out by making it as easy as they can. If you are struggling with debt, contact us. We can help you find options you may not have known were available to you, and if bankruptcy is the best choice, we can navigate you through the process so you come out in the best possible position.
Law Firm of Kevin D. Judd – Your Gateway to Financial Freedom