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What to Do When Medical Bills are Beyond Manageable

Medical Bills

What to Do When Medical Bills are Beyond Manageable

It is all too easy for medical bills to become unmanageable – especially if you have an ongoing condition which requires expensive repeat treatments. For many debtors, paying medical costs becomes a race against time, where treatment is necessary to stay in work, but wages and savings are not enough to keep up with the costs. If you are struggling with mounting medical bills, there are a number of options to help you combat getting into serious debt.

Medical Billing Expert

If it comes to the point where you are facing being stuck with medical bills you can’t pay, it is worth considering paying someone to review those bills. It may turn out there are a number of treatments and services which were never received; amounting to hundreds or thousands of dollars. This is more likely for patients who have a complicated medical history involving multiple treatment options and referrals.

It is important to weigh the cost of hiring a medical billing expert, against the potential savings you are likely to achieve. Many medical billing experts will not charge you unless they find erroneous errors during the review.

Contacting Providers

If you are unable to pay your medical bills, do not ignore the issue. Reach out to the provider(s) to discuss your bill to determine better payment options. For instance, you can apply for financial assistance if you have received treatment at a hospital. In other cases, you can ask the provider whether they can facilitate forgiveness of a portion of your bill due to financial hardship.

In most cases, it is better to reach out to providers the old-fashioned way – by writing a letter. Provide details of your current financial situation; explaining the impact paying the full medical bill will have on you and your family. Once you have allowed enough time for the provider to receive and review your letter, follow up with a phone call to discuss the key points and attempt to negotiate a reduction in costs. Even if you are not successful in reducing the total cost, the provider may put you on a more manageable payment plan.

CareCredit

If you are struggling with medical bills, signing up for CareCredit may help you manage out-of-pocket costs. The card is specifically designed for medical payments and is accepted by the majority of medical facilities. There are promotional benefits to CareCredit, which may give you up to 24 months interest-free, depending on the nature of your treatment.

While the upside of CareCredit is you could end up paying zero interest, by settling your balance before the end of the promotional period, failing to do so could land you in even more debt, as you will be expected to pay all the interest that would have been accrued during the same period. This sum could potentially amount to thousands and leave you right back where you started – or even worse off.

Bankruptcy

If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can have all your medical bills discharged as unsecured debt. There is a means test and other requirements expected of those who wish to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, so you should first speak to a qualified and experienced lawyer. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to have a repayment plan which can cover medical debts and other bills, such as vehicle loans. In many cases, you may pay little or nothing to medical debts through a Chapter 13 plan and then discharge the debt, meaning you no longer have legal liability for the debt. Reach out to the experts from H. Lehman Franklin P.C. today at 912-764-9616 or email us at info@hlfranklin.com to find out how we can help.