If you don’t think medical costs have skyrocketed over the past few years, try checking into a hospital or developing a serious illness. My wife gets one medication a month for six months that costs $12,000 each application. I had a small bit of plastic surgery on my nose to remove a basal cell carcinoma last year. The bill for this was nearly $1,000. Fortunately, we both have insurance and our out-of-pocket expenses were minimal.
What to do if your insurance doesn’t cover all your bills
Health insurance can be a very complicated issue. It may have co-pays, deductibles, and limits or may not even cover certain procedures. When this is the case, you can easily find yourself facing thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Hospitals and clinics are getting tougher
Hospitals and clinics used to being sort of forgiving in that they would dun you for payment but not take any actions beyond this. However, today many clinics, hospitals and even doctors are turning their past-due bills over to debt collectors. And once you’re in the grips of a debt collector, all bets are off. You may be harassed mercilessly and even sued. You could receive threatening phone calls day and night, and could even see your wages garnished.
There are several options for dealing with huge medical bills. But this can be complicated because of the presence of a third party – your insurance company. If you do have insurance you need to read your policy very carefully to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you’re paying for. Second, you should contact the hospital or clinic and get a detailed bill of the services it says you received. Review the bill carefully to make sure that all the services are really your responsibility. Hospitals and clinics process a huge amount of paperwork daily and mistakes can be made. If you find errors, you could protest those charges, which could reduce your bill substantially.
Use your retirement savings
As painful as it might be, you could use your retirement savings to pay off those medical bills – but only if you’re paying interest on them. Without going into all the nitty-gritty details, suffice it to say that you will save money by using that money vs. continuing to pay on your medical bills for years and years to come
Negotiate a payment plan
Another alternative is to negotiate a payment plan with the hospital or clinic. Most are willing to work with people who sincerely want to pay the bills. You might be able to negotiate a very affordable monthly payment and a decent interest rate so you could get that debt paid off in four to five years.
Consumer credit counseling
A third way to deal with medical bills is through consumer credit counseling. There is probably a nonprofit credit-counseling agency in your area that provides its services either free or for very small fees. If not, you can easily find one on the Internet. Regardless of which you choose, you will be assigned a counselor who will negotiate with your creditors to get your interest rates reduced. He or she will also help you develop an affordable payment plan. If all of your creditors accept your plan, you will have consolidated your debt in that you will longer have to pay them. Instead you’ll send one check a month to the credit-counseling agency, which will then pay your creditors.
Professional debt consolidation
A fourth alternative is what we do – professional debt consolidation. Our debt consolidation providers are among the best of the nation and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are dissatisfied with the debt consolidation plans you’re offered, you can opt out at any time and pay no fees or penalties. We’ve helped thousands of American families become debt free in a reasonable amount of time and it’s likely we could do the same for you.