If there’s one thing most people fear, it’s hefty medical bills.
Even if you have a good health insurance plan, it might not cover the entire medical bill. So after that, you’ll be left with no choice but to get into medical debt.
In fact, nearly 25,000 people in Australia have to spend an average of $3000 a year on medical bills.
So if you’re tired of high medical bills and need to figure out how to get out of this debt, this article is here to help you!
Check the bill for errors
Before you even try to settle your debt, check whether the bill is accurate or not.
Unfortunately, medical bills are notorious for being grossly inaccurate, so many times, you’ll realize that you’re not even in debt, to begin with!
So whenever you receive a medical bill that seems too hefty, double or triple-check to ensure everything is correct.
In case there’s anything that seems inaccurate, ask your service provider to clarify it for you.
If you have private health insurance, look for sudden medical bills from hospital providers you haven’t even signed up for.
Even many emergency ambulance services can give you these surprise bills.
Negotiate for a lower amount
After checking your bills thoroughly, if you see that the expenses are accurate, it’s time to start negotiating.
The good thing is that here you do have some leverage because if you turn over these bills to a debt collector, the medical service provider won’t get paid anything more than a few dollars.
Other than that, many hospitals and clinics set up a monthly payment plan for patients with expensive medical bills.
In most cases, you can pay the hospital the exact amount without paying any interest. But even if they do charge interest, it’ll be quite low.
Before you start paying off the debt, do your homework and see how much you can afford to pay back each month.
Go through the specifics
After a doctor walks you through the treatment plan, you need to check whether the services provided by various establishments are within the network or not.
Furthermore, check if any part of your treatment needs to be preauthorized. Don’t feel embarrassed or afraid to ask basic questions like what your copays will be or whether all your authorization will be in place.
It’s always better to find out these essential things beforehand than to suffer later for not being well-informed.
If you find out the medication prescribed to you isn’t covered in the insurance plan, ask the doctor if the drugmaker has a patient-assisted program.
Hire an advocate
Quite often, you’ll see that people themselves can’t figure out how to pay back their medical debts or reduce the debt amount.
This is when you need to consult a medical bill advocate to represent you. The biggest advantage of hiring an advocate is that since they deal with expensive medical bills every day, they’ll know the loopholes.
They can also give you tips and ideas on the standard costs for common medical procedures.
A quick Google search will give you a list if you don’t know any advocates personally. Otherwise, ask your friends or colleagues to spread the word and help you out.
Apply for charity care
If you cannot pay back your medical debts in any way possible, you might qualify for charity care, which is a kind of in-house financial care assistant.
You may not know this, but non-profit hospitals are required by law to provide written help policies.
If any patient needs such help, they are bound to give you the details of charity care schemes.
Even though charity care assistance won’t wipe out your entire debt, you will get some discount based on your income and assets.
Federal rules that regulate such non-profit hospitals will allow you to apply for charity care up to eight months after receiving your medical bills.
Over to you…
Medical bills can add up quickly and leave you no room to think properly.
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed after receiving sky-high bills is natural, but keeping calm is important.
So, contact the concerned authorities and only then make an informed decision.
You may be interested in: How to Start Your Own Charity