5 tips for reducing medical debt

Category: Health

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Although excessive credit card use is one of the leading causes of debt, medical care doesn’t fall far behind. Even if you have adequate health insurance, the costs you might have to deal with can still be overwhelming. If you have a lot of medical bills and don’t know where to begin, the following tips can help you get a handle on your medical debt:

Take care of it right away

Depending on your insurance carrier and the type of treatment you received, you might not be required to pay immediately, and it might take a while for the bills to come in the mail. In fact, it’s not unusual for them to take weeks—perhaps even a couple months—for them to arrive. These delayed medical bills can sometimes have bad timing, and if you have more pressing financial issues to handle, it can be tempting to put off paying those bills and worrying about them later on. But this is how medical debt can easily accumulate and it can just make matters worse. Some doctor offices might implement late charges for missed payments, and if you ignore the bills and end up forgetting them completely, they might be turned over to a debt collector.

Work out a payment plan

It’s always important to take care of your medical bills before they turn into past due debts. Address them immediately and pay what you can. If you can’t make any payments towards your medical bills, contact our physician’s office and explain your situation, and find out if you can work out a more affordable repayment plan. You might have the option to make smaller payments over a longer period, or you might receive a due date extension so that you have some extra time to pay what you owe.

Increase your coverage

Prevent medical debt from accumulating in the first place by ensuring that more of your medical expenses are taken care of from the get-go. If possible, increase your healthcare coverage, which can help you cut down more on medical expenses and make your bills more affordable. If you’re currently paying out-of-pocket for medical expenses, consider the money-saving benefits of a health insurance plan.

Carefully looked through the charges

It’s not at all uncommon for medical bills to contain errors. For example, you might be getting billed for the wrong treatment, or you could be getting billed multiple times for the exact same visit. Carefully check the charges and see if there are any repeats, and research the billing codes that are being used to make sure they apply to the treatment you received. Although it’s usually an accident, medical bill mistakes happen and it can be easy for someone to overlook, and to just assume that charges are correct. As such, you may owe money that you shouldn’t, and you could be in more medical debt than you should be. If you find anything that doesn’t seem correct, you could double check with your insurance carrier and dispute the charges, if necessary.

Try to settle for less than what you owe

If you can’t work out a payment plan for your medical debt and you still owe a lot, ask if it’s possible to settle your account for less than what you owe. If debts are incredibly past due, they might take what they can get. Whether you’re dealing directly with the physician’s office that billed you or your debt has been turned over to a collection agency, try to negotiate your debt to a lesser amount that you can comfortably afford.

Do you have medical debt to catch up on? Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help you with your medical expenses if you’re receiving structured settlement payments. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to learn more about selling future structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash.

Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: Health Insurance, Medical Bills, medical debt

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