Because medical issues can pop up out of nowhere, it’s very common for people to not have the cash on hand to pay for expensive medical tests or procedures. Even with medical insurance, you can still end up paying a lot of money for doctor visits or emergency medical situations. This can leave you with a mountain of medical bills that you have to pay off with very little time to start saving up money for this purpose. And when this happens, your bills may quickly become past-due. To help you overcome this financial issue and avoid solutions like bankruptcy, here are three tips for dealing with past-due medical bills.
Double-Check For Accuracy
Once you get the final bill from the hospital or doctor’s office, it’s now up to you to make sure that everything you’re being charged for is actually correct. According to Debt.org, you should double-check that you aren’t being double-charged for anything, that your insurance covered everything they were supposed to, and that you’re not being charged for something that you didn’t even receive. If you see any type of discrepancy with your bill, make sure you call both the medical office and your insurance to ensure that the problems can be addressed for you before you start paying.
Try To Negotiate
After you know that the bill you’ve received is correct and that you’re actually responsible for paying what the bill claims, you may be surprised to know that you can actually try to negotiate the final payments with the doctor’s office. According to Abby Hayes, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, patients who go through their insurance providers often get better rates because the insurance companies have already negotiated the prices down. So if you’re paying for everything on your own, you should try to negotiate down the price for some of your procedures or medical supplies. Especially if you have gone to collections, they may be more willing to accept any type of payment from you at this point.
Find Out Your Payment Options
When you get the final amount that you’re to pay for your medical expenses, it’s now time to figure out what your payment options are. Since you haven’t been able to pay the entire bill in the time the medical providers originally wanted, Latoya Irby, a contributor to The Balance, recommends seeing if you can get on a payment plan. This will allow you to make a monthly payment toward your balance rather than having to pay the whole thing in one fell swoop. And if you’ve already struggled with paying this bill, this may be the best option for you.
If you have medical bills that are about to go past their due date, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you find a solution to your financial problem.