Medical debt is becoming a problem for more and more Americans in today’s economy. With health care insurance coverage at its minimum, many people are uninsured or under-insured. When illness or injury strikes, even a minor trip to the emergency room can land you in thousands of dollars of debt. Luckily, medical debt is also one of the easier debts to manage.
Medical debts can be scary at first glance, but the truth is medical debt collectors have very little recourse over collection. While a medical debt collector is rare to garnish wages or liquidate assets, they can damage your credit. Your best line of defense is debt negotiation.
Negotiating debts with any creditor can seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple steps to find relief from your medical debts.
First, contact your health insurance agency to discuss your coverage. You may need to file an appeal with your insurance provider to have your benefits reviewed. If you do file an appeal, be sure to collect all the necessary documentation (medical records, etc) to submit with your appeal.
If you do not have health coverage, contact your medical provider to request the non-insured rate for services. Medical providers often write off a portion of the balance for those without insurance and you may be able to have your total debt balance lowered in this way.
After you have submitted an appeal or requested the non-insured rate, contact the medical provider to discuss payment options of the remaining balance. It is important to know what you can afford to pay before going into the negotiation. Many providers will try to have you pay a set amount, which you may not be able to afford. Instead, offer to set up an automatic draft of your payment each month for the amount you can afford. This is will keep your account active and out of collections or under threat of credit damage.