Medical bills are something that has been argued throughout the United States for years as a treatment for a single illness or injury can see you left with a bill of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Today we are going to be talking you through a few hints and misconceptions when it comes to all things medical bills so you are in the know should you be unfortunate enough to be struck with unplanned costs.
- Work out a payment plan
The likelihood is that when you are struck with a heavy medical bill there is the chance for you to pay off your debts using a payment plan, many of which are interest-free.
You are best discussing this option directly with your doctors or hospital to see if this is viable for both parties and come to an agreement.
This will allow you to split your payments into more manageable sums so that you are not being forced to shell out one lump sum of a larger amount that may be difficult to do so in line with your budgets.
- Prompt payment discounts
If you are lucky enough to have some savings laying around and don’t require the use of a payment plan as discussed, some hospitals and doctor’s practices may be able to offer you what is known as a prompt payment discount. This is where they have the ability to deduct a percentage (usually around 10%) if you are able to pay off your debts to them in a lump sum payment.
3. Don’t avoid paying your bills
This one may sound obvious but many people delay or avoid altogether paying their medical bills. The government has the right to refer your case to a collections agency that has the sole task of recovering these payments from you, which may see you receiving a number of letters and phone calls. Another point to add is that avoiding your medical bills can have a detrimental effect on your overall credit score, which according to the Federal Reserve is something that is happening to 2 in 5 of us Americans.
4. Hire a medical bill advocate
Medical bill advocates are experts in the industry who work on your behalf to ensure that not only are your medical bills correct and accurate for the services you have received but can negotiate directly with your hospital or doctor in an attempt to get you a better deal. Medical bill advocates, of course, come at a cost, so be sure to crunch the numbers to ensure that the cost of paying them does not exceed those you are likely to save following employing them.
5. Apply for a loan
There are so many loan companies that are designated to helping you settle your medical bills. The most important thing when considering taking out a loan is to weigh up your options, so shop around and see who can provide you the best deal. Like all loans, you will need to set out the terms and conditions clearly with your lender and stick to them to avoid repercussions.
6. Apply for bankruptcy
If you are really struggling to pay for your medical bills at the moment and cannot see a feasible way to do so in the near future, your last resort may be to apply for bankruptcy.
You would not be alone in doing so as many people are forced to go down this route to settle costly medical bills.
Applying for bankruptcy may wipe your medical bills out altogether, but will likely leave you in a state of financial despair and have a detrimental impact on your overall credit score, so be sure to consider and discuss this option with financial advisors as a very last resort.
Medical bills are something that all of us are likely to incur in our lifetime, whether it be from pregnancy to an unexpected illness so it is best that you have plans and money set aside already to fall back upon.
Given that we have discussed a few options, we hope that you are able to find one that best suits your current situation or helps you plan for future medical costs that you may be set to incur.
Let us know down below using our comments section if you have found our insights helpful or if you have any useful suggestions that you think others may also be able to apply to their situations.
If you’re struggling in the current climate and need further financial advice then check out this helpful resource crediful.com.