An increasing area of concern over personal debt burdens is arising as the result of pregnancy and maternity leave. Health care options have dwindled and many people don’t qualify for adequate medical coverage at all due to being self employed or employed with a small business. In many cases, women are refused pregnancy or maternity related health insurance coverage simply because they don’t work for a large corporation who provides a group policy. Add this to the loss of time at work once the baby is born and many new mothers are finding they owe upwards of $10,000 in just a few short months.
A Cry Of Relief
For moms who stay at home with the baby, take time off of work or simply don’t have maternity coverage with their health insurance company, what is supposed to be a time of joy turns into stress over finances. Often requiring large payments or insisting that accounts be paid in full within 90 days, medical providers can be quite pushy with their debt collections.
Luckily, medical debts are fairly easy to resolve. Medical debt negotiations are quite simple really once you understand your position. First, these debts are unsecured debts, meaning the creditor has no legal recourse for seizing or liquidating your assets to satisfy debts. Second, your debts cannot be sent to collections or negative remarks reported to the credit bureaus unless you miss a payment. That being said, here is how to negotiate and resolve medical debts:
- Contact the provider as soon as you get the first bill. Never wait until finances become tight.
- Determine how much you can reasonably afford to pay each month without jeopardizing other debt accounts.
- Present your payment offer to the provider and offer to set up an automatic draft of payment.
- If you don’t want to set up an automatic payment system, be sure you are never late or miss a payment.
- Offer the provider proof of your income or financial hardship if they are playing hard ball with negotiations.
- Consider hiring a debt negotiation lawyer if providers aren’t willing to negotiate or work with you.