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Struggling With Medical Bills? Here’s 5 Things You Can Do

Mounting medical bills can drain the bank accounts of everyday people and place enormous pressure on those still in recovery. It’s no secret that health care costs increase annually at a rate that exceeds the ability of working community members to cover them. If you are among the many who required a medical procedure that created seemingly insurmountable debt, you are not alone. The good news is that others have been down this road and resolved the burden of medical debt. These are 5 strategies that may help you as well.

1: Check the Medical Bills for Accuracy

A myth exists that hospitals and other medical facilities are highly organized and always professionally run. In terms of treatment and care, that usually holds true. But when it comes to the billing department, not so much.

A study indicates that upwards of 80 percent of all medical bills contain one or more errors. Needless to say, the billing errors generally result in inflated costs and may include treatment that never occurred. One of the most common instances of over-billing involves duplicate charges for medication, scans, and procedures. Your indebtedness could decline dramatically by checking medical statements thoroughly and questioning items.

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2: Leverage Legally Required Reductions

Owing money to a health care provider is very different from other forms of debt. For instance, the Affordable Care Act requires non-profits to offer low-income people financial assistance and services reductions. Not-for-profit organizations usually post their policies for clients to review. If you check the right boxes, contact the outfit and request a reduction.

3: Negotiate a Reasonable Payment Schedule or Reduction

A 2021 study discovered that 93 percent of people who negotiated with health care providers saw the cost lowered or wiped out. Creditors are also keenly aware that people sinking in debt could file for bankruptcy. When that happens, the court could erase that debt completely and the party owed money gets zero.

That’s why experienced professionals overseeing a billing department are generally amenable to structuring a realistic payment plan. This entails you making affordable and consistent monthly installments over a set period.

4: Use Borrowing Resources Wisely

It’s not uncommon for people recovering from surgery or debilitating ailments to feel enormous pressure over their health care debt. Collection letters, emails, and phone calls increase stress levels. Don’t be surprised if debt collectors offer to put the tab on a credit card and make the calls stop. Paying with a credit card does not necessarily resolve the financial problem. In fact, given the high-interest rates of many credit cards, using plastic could exacerbate the problem.

Homeowners are uniquely positioned to leverage the equity they’ve accumulated to secure a low-interest loan. Home equity loans are considered secured and lenders offer among the lowest interest rates possible. However, a second mortgage involves carrying two monthly payments and puts your home at risk if you default.

5: Consider Accepting a Helping Hand

A wide range of charitable resources are available to people in need. Consider running an online search for non-profits in your area dedicated to supporting ailing community members. And a great many people have garnered financial support by simply posting a GoFundMe page that speaks to your condition and expense. Good people you may not know are there to help. And if pride stands in the way, keep in mind those who give generously feel good about making a difference, and recognise that anyone could find themselves in the situation you’re currently in.