Medical debt is one of the most common things. For example, 1 in every 3 US adults possesses at least one unpaid healthcare bill. The bills are also one of the largest source of collections debt and outrank the combined amount owed on auto loans, utilities, and credit cards.
However, if you need help paying medical bills, we are here to help you.
If you don’t pay medical bills
A debt collector may contact you if you have an overdue unpaid bill that ended up in the collection. You may sometimes receive a final warning for payment before the debt goes to collections.
The job of a debt collector is to get a balance paid in full. However, in many circumstances, they may negotiate. Be firm and offer them to pay what you think you can afford. They may also accept a certain amount to close the file.
Top tips to pay a High Medical Bill
If you receive a high medical bill, you should not panic. Taking action before your account is past due or goes to the collection is essential. Communication with the medical facility or medical provider is key. The goal should be to reduce the bill or wipe out the balance altogether.
Here are a few steps that can help you tackle large medical bills.
1. Ensure the debt is due legally
After the No Surprises Act became effective in 2022, private insurers could not bill you extra for most emergency services. It is applicable even if the services did not have prior authorization or were out of network. So you can avoid getting charged extra for out-of-network services received at the in-network facility.
2. Verify the accuracy of charges
Check the services and dates on your bill. Ensure that the charges are fair and not overcharged. You can also check the area’s service price, item, or facility procedures to see if they charge you fairly.
3. Request for discounts
Do not hesitate to ask for a discount because it may help reduce the amount owed. If you pay out of pocket or do not have insurance, ask them to charge you at Medicare rates, as it may help you get deep discounts.
4. Seek debt settlement of forgiveness
Debt settlement or debt forgiveness are other ways to reduce medical bills. However, they differ from receiving a discount as it helps reduce the actual amount you owe.
Debt forgiveness or debt cancellation, is where a creditor no longer has a debt. Paying less or debt settlement than the actual amount may impact your credit score, and the unpaid portion may report for tax purposes.
5. Ask for financial assistance program
You may qualify for medical debt forgiveness and paying bills. The US Department of Health and Human Services maintains a state-wise list of more than 100 financial assistance programs that may help people with medical and healthcare expenses.
Medicaid is the program that qualifies for government insurance for people with low incomes, and many hospitals require you to apply for it. However, if you are not eligible for Medicaid coverage, you may apply for help with the medical bills acquired from the hospital.
6. Ask about the charity care programs and indigent care
Under US law, nonprofit hospitals may provide you with charity care. Some for-profit hospitals also follow this. These programs provide low-cost and free medical treatment that includes emergency room services.
7. Set up monthly payment plans
If you need more than the above advice to knock down the bill, offer to make monthly payments directly to the healthcare provider. It is better than potentially high-interest medical financing, paying the bill with a credit card, or not paying at all.
Although it may include a late fee, it is likely for the medical bills to charge interest. In many instances, paying something monthly, even if it is a fraction of the balance, may prevent the bill from being turned over to damaging your credit or collection agency.
Taking action when you receive a medical bill you cannot pay is essential. Do not wait for the debt to become overdue. You would want to avoid debt collectors and the negative impact on your credit score and additional stress. Always remember that you get options.
First, you should ensure that your debt is legal and the bill is accurate. Also must stay in communication with the healthcare creditor. Remember to ask for a payment plan or discount or see if the hospital will settle or forgive your debt.
You may also download WiseRx pharmacy discount card for a good discount on medications.