Managing medical debt

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According to Nerd Wallet Health, bankruptcy is the number one cause of bankruptcy. It's estimated that 60% of personal bankruptcy filings are the result of excessive medical debt. As health care costs continue to rise, more and more Americans struggle to get out from underneath medical bills. Here are a few tips for managing your medical debts.

Payment plans

It's incredible how fast medical bills can accumulate. When they pile up, the amount of debt can be so overwhelming that it seems impossible to repay. Fortunately, medical care providers are normally sympathetic and willing to work with you to find a solution. You can speak with the billing department of your care provider to work out a payment plan that can work for your circumstances.

Lower your bills

In addition to working out a payment plan, there are a few things you can do to actually lower the amount you owe. According to Nerd Wallet, approximately 50% of medical bills have some kind of error. It's never a bad idea to go through your bills to make sure you weren't over-billed. It's not uncommon to be billed for an extra day's stay in the hospital or to be charged for a drug administered three times a day when in actuality it was only once a day. Finding and reporting errors to the billing department could significantly lower the amount you owe on some of the bills.

Another thing to watch for is unfair prices. In recent years there has been more transparency when it comes to fair prices in the medical billing field. You can do some research to determine if you were being charged more than you should have been for a given treatment. Contending these charges could lead to a lower medical bill.

Legal help

If you are unable to reach negotiations with your care provider and you are financially unable to repay your medical debts, it would be wise to consult legal help. Legal representation may be what's needed to reach an agreement. If your care provider knows that bankruptcy is on the table, they are more likely to settle on a lower amount than risk getting nothing in the event of bankruptcy.

A free consultation with a bankruptcy attorney can explore your debt relief options including bankruptcy to determine what will be the best course of action based on your circumstances. Dealing with medical debt can be extremely stressful and complicated, but a skilled attorney can make the process much more simple.

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