The rising cost of healthcare and the growing number of under insured or uninsured Americans has resulted in many people struggling with medical debt. Unanticipated medical expenses can strike when you least expect it and many do not have sufficient emergency funds to cover all the costs. Even when people have insurance, high deductibles, co-pays and denied services can result in substantial medical debt.
If you find yourself strapped with an unexpected medical bill, financial advisers recommend a few strategies:
- Prior to undergoing a procedure or immediately upon receiving a bill, start by asking for a discount from your provider, somewhere in the neighborhood of a 30 to 35 percent reduction. Although success varies from provider to provider, in situations where there is no insurance, providers are inclined to take a deal, especially if you can pay cash. If you are not able to pay a lump sum, most providers are willing to work out a repayment plan.
- Don’t assume the charges you have been billed are correct. Ask for an itemized statement to ensure no double billing has occurred and that all services listed were actually received.
- If you are charged for out-of-network charges, check with your insurance company to make sure these bills are being paid at the appropriate out-of-network rate and attempt to appeal unexpected charges with your providers billing office as well as your insurance company.
- Do not delay taking action on a bill because more and more providers are reporting bills as delinquent to credit bureaus in as few as 30 days. It is much harder to negotiate a bill with the provider once it has gone to collections.
Liquidating Medical Bills with Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Get Relief From Medical Debt – Contact an Experienced Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney for Help
Not surprisingly, medical debt is the most common type of past due bill consumers are contacted for by bill collectors. If you are falling behind despite your best efforts, you may want to consider chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy protection, which will protect you and your family from creditor harassment and may result in discharging the medical debt so you can get a fresh start. If you have questions regarding chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, contact the Peoria bankruptcy Law Offices of Charles E. Covey to get more information today.