Millions of Americans are in debt due to medical emergencies. A week-long emergency room visit could cost you upwards of $50,000. Even with insurance, many Americans are facing financial peril from the burden of medical debt.
However, there are steps you can take as a consumer to minimize the impact of medical debt on your life:
Check Your Bills Accuracy
When it comes to medical debt, it can be hard to tell what exactly you were charged for. Many of the products and procedures used by doctors are extremely technical and are hard to understand. Many consumers have filed claims stating that hospitals would duplicate billing statements and or charge you for services never rendered.
For these reasons, it is essential that you look over your medical bill to understand what you are being charged for. However, taking the time to know and understand your bill can often mean endless hours on the phone trying to break down the charges. Be sure to look over your insurances “Explanation of Benefits” to see what is covered and what isn’t.
Hospitals and doctors understand that most consumers do not have $20,000+ saved up to pay for a medical emergency. Thankfully, most medical debts have 0% interest. Many hospitals and doctors are actually willing to work with consumers as long as you can pay for some of the services rendered.
If you still find it hard to make payments on a payment plan, explain to the doctor or hospital that you will need a hardship plan. Notify them that there is only a certain amount you can pay per month. Once you have established a payment plan, do not miss a payment. If your debt ends up going into collections, you’ll have a large dent in your credit score.
Get Outside Help
If you are still buried under a mountain of medical debt, you should consider speaking to a debt relief company. Hospitals want some form of compensation, and a professional debt negotiator can help you. Insurance companies can also step in and help with negotiations, but only if you ask. A debt relief counselor can also help you plan and budget a repayment plan to help you pay off your debts faster.
If your medical debt is large enough to the point where it would take you 10+ years to repay, you might want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Although it may sound extreme, but having poor credit for 7 years can be better than paying hundreds a month in interest and late fees for years to come.
If you are tired of getting harassed by collectors and collection agencies for medical debt, CrediReady can help. Our nationwide network of trusted and experienced attorneys are ready to give you a free bankruptcy consultation. Take a moment to fill out our free no-obligation consultation inquiry form today to begin your debt-free life!