With or without health insurance, medical bills can be expensive. If you fall too far behind, you can end up putting your credit score at risk. If medical bills are piling up, the following tips can be helpful for handling those debts:
Don’t ignore your medical bills
Because medical bills may not arrive for weeks, or even months after you went to a doctor, they sometimes come as a surprise. This unexpected expense can be tempting to ignore, especially if you have more urgent financial matters to take care of. But it’s important not to ignore the bills completely. If you’re experiencing financial difficulties, at the very least you’ll want to call your doctor’s office and explain the situation. If you completely ignore your medical bills, they could be turned over the debt collectors, and the unpaid debts would appear on your credit report.
Check the charges carefully
Did you know that a lot of medical bills contain errors? As such, it’s important to thoroughly look through your bill before paying it, even if it’s a long overdue medical debt. After all, you don’t want to end up paying for someone else’s mistake. Some patients are accidentally charged for the same procedure or treatment twice—others have been charged for a treatment or service that they didn’t even receive. If you have health insurance, you’ll want to check carefully for billing errors. For example, you may be in a lot of medical debt because your doctor’s office is claiming that your health insurance policy doesn’t cover your past office visits. But this could simply be because your doctor’s office billed your insurance carrier with the incorrect code. If you believe there might be billing errors, bring it to your insurance carrier’s attention.
Work out a payment plan
Medical debt can be overwhelming, and a lot of doctor’s offices are willing to work with patients. Your medical bills may already offer different payment options if you’re unable to pay what you owe in full. If not, call your doctor’s office and ask if you can work out a monthly payment plan that can allow you to make smaller payments until your debt is paid in full.
Attempt to settle for less
You may have another option for taking care of your medical debt if you owe a significant amount that you can’t afford. Whether you still owe the money to your doctor’s office or the debt has already been turned over to a collection agency, ask if you can settle the medical debt for less than what you owe. For example, if you owe $4,000, but can only afford to pay $1,000, make an offer and see if they are willing to accept it. Depending on what you owe and what you offer, it could be a long shot, but it’s worth a try. Make sure that they are willing to mark the debt as satisfied and paid in full if they’re willing to settle for less.
Increase your coverage
If you have healthcare insurance, you may want to consider increasing your coverage, if possible. A higher premium plan that covers more can potentially help you save on your medical expenses overall, while possibly preventing medical debt from accumulating in the future. If you don’t have health insurance, consider shopping around for a plan that fits within your budget.
Do you have medical debt to take care of? If you’re receiving payments from an annuity or structured settlement, we may be able to help. At Peachtree Financial Solutions, we have helped many people take care of medical expenses, and we want to help you, too.
Peachtree Financial Solutions can purchase a portion of your future payments and offer you that money in a lump sum payment. Imagine how much easier it can be to get rid of medical debt by receiving your money, sooner. Contact us today for more information!
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.