• Jenn Williams

Tackling Medical Debt in 2022

Updated: Apr 1

If you’ve ever been sick, you know that medical bills can add up quickly. A recent study found that the average American family faces more than $15,000 in medical debt. If you’re struggling to pay your medical bills, here are a few tips to help you get started.

 

Read Your Receipts


Have you ever wondered how much of your medical bill is accurate? There may be errors in the coding process and it may affect whether or not you owe money. Since each code is just a series of numbers it is possible to type one wrong. To avoid any confusion, request an itemized statement from them with all charges listed separately so you can check it for repeated charges or miscoded procedures.


Or perhaps you have received a bill for services that you believed were covered by your health insurance policy? In some cases, the issue isn’t with medical care but how it was submitted or processed. Make sure your healthcare provider has all the correct information for your plan.


If you notice anything suspicious with your bill, contact the healthcare provider and ask for an explanation. If someone made a mistake in processing it they can update your claim to the insurance company or drop the charge entirely so that they can get things corrected as quickly as possible.


Negotiate


After speaking with your provider and insurer, there may still be an outstanding balance due on the medical bill. The good news? This means that these departments are well versed in negotiations; they’d much rather you pay a portion of what is owed than spend months, or even years, trying to collect on this debt.


The best way to get a discount from your medical provider is by asking for it. Ask if you can receive up-front discounts on any future visits, or even just 10% off the total bill when paying within 30 days of service being rendered so long as most (or all) costs are waived and there’s money in hand beforehand!


Another way you may be able to get a discount for your medical services is if you are on Medicare. Most providers offer incentives or discounted rates specifically designed with this population in mind, so it’s worth asking about when the final bill comes due.


Ask For a Payment Plan


Before charging your credit card with the medical bill, be sure to ask for an interest-free payment plan. This prevents you from being charged interest on the total and you may lower your credit score by occupying more of your credit line.


As long as they’re receiving regular payments towards their balance each month then there is an incentive for them to work with an interest-free payment plan.


More Debt Than You Can Handle?


In some cases, your medical debt might be higher than you can afford to pay for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to hit “ bankruptcy! Talk with a licensed Medical Bill Advocate about how they can help you manage your debt.


Medical Bill Advocates are professionals who can be hired to deal with insurers and billing departments on your behalf. You should find out in advance what their costs will be before making any decisions. They can be a great way to get your medical expenses down, but they vary in terms of what is asked from clients. Some charge hourly while others might ask for a certain percentage or set number after they have completed. Be sure you are comfortable with the terms of payment.


Prepare For The Future


The best way to avoid these costly medical bills is by understanding your health insurance coverage and protecting your physical well-being. Always go to check-ups provided by your health insurance and never be afraid to ask what they are charging you for!


The Trusted Referral Network can make sure you are covered by the best possible provider. Click below to get a 100% free custom quote on health insurance plans.


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