None of us, literally none of us want to run out of funds, ever in life. But once you are bankrupt, or on the verge of bankruptcy, you will find things slowly, but steadily going out of your hands. This is what happens when someone is burdened under the humongous pressure of medical debt.
Insured or not insured, medical debt could be fatal to both. In fact, every year, there are so many cases of medical debt bankruptcy around the world – a popular Facebook meme said that as many as 643,000 Americans go bankrupt each year due to medical bills! The reason why I am here today, to guide you through the process of medical debt repayment. So let’s begin:
Never bury your head in sand
I meant Don’t ignore or avoid your bills. Most people commit this mistake, and later pay a hefty price in the future. Your ignorance wouldn’t just magically make them disappear; you have to pay them – today or tomorrow! Unfortunately, there is no way out. It is just a matter of time, that hospitals or other medical providers will do their basic research, after that, the onus would be transferred to the debt collection agencies, and we all know, they don’t buy your nonsense. Also, unpaid bills for a prolonged period would take a toll on your financial security, and your credit score goes for a toss. You clearly do not want that.
Don’t fall for an Explanation of Benefits
An Explanation of Benefits or EOB is a statement sent by your insurance company, that depicts the amount paid by them on your behalf. I also discussed this in the beginning – insured or not insured, it does not matter. You will have to pay the entire amount. So, make sure that you have an actual bill in hand, and not an EOB. Go through the mail which had the EOB thoroughly to find out whether you have a balance due or not. If yes, you can soon expect a bill from the hospital or the debt collection agency.
Negotiating can do wonders
Unfortunately, the world of medicine has also taken a pitfall that just talks about money. So, if you are not attentive enough, you will find yourself paying Rs 1 lakh for bandages. And trust me, try negotiating, it is actually a brilliant technique to cut down all the extras. I know, it is not street shopping, but the medical world counts on you for not being aware of what you are paying the bills for. So, if you show some intent, it would always work in your favor. Do not negotiate with doctors; negotiate with the bill clerks at the billing counter. Actually, the mechanism in which they charge is really random. So, call them and straight up say, ‘I will not be able to pay the bill at all, if you are unwilling to settle on common terms!’ and then check the response and accordingly follow.
Start paying them
In reality, the amount that you see on the final bill is the summation of some small bills. So, there are more chances than not that you will be able to pay the small ones all at once or in a lump sum. Everyone has a savings account in today’s date, so use it. And if you have an emergency fund, it will help you a great deal.
Make a payment plan
If you are not able to pay your bills fully and immediately, but the intent to do so in the future, you need to call your insurance company or the doctors or the billing clerks. They can serve as a great guide for you in the process of making your payment arrangements. This has two major benefits. One, this would help you review your budget and make timely payments every month. And two, the billing department knows that you are not ignoring the bill and possess a positive intent to pay it in the near future.
Follow these tips to the T, and you will soon find yourself free of all the medical debt collection by companies like Cedar Financial. As much as debts serve help in need, if nor paid in time can transform into pain-in-the-ass real soon. But in the end, you have to understand that you are responsible for them. I know sometimes it gets really difficult, but it is surely not impossible. Stick to the process and keeping yourself motivated, the end goal is not too far!