Medical Bill Assistance


Medical Debt

Medical debt can be one of the most frustrating financial obligations that you can incur. You can expect any type of hospitalization to result in an avalanche of bills from different service providers. While it can be overwhelming, you need to understand how medical debt relates to other types of

debt so that you can manage all of your financial responsibilities.

While medical bills tend to be higher than other types of services, they are still typically easier to manage than consumer debts. If you are on a payment plan, whether formal or informal, you can normally repay the debt over a long period of time without accruing any interest charges.

Medical debts also tend to be less harmful to a credit rating than other “luxury debts” like delinquent credit cards and consumer loans. Medical bills not referred to collections will not even show up on your credit report. This means that protecting your credit may require that you maintain your payments on your mortgage, car loan and credit cards as a first priority. Whatever is left in your budget is often what you must use to deal with your medical bills.

You might get several bills from the hospital, including bills from each doctor involved in your treatment and from the anesthesiologist that participated. If you were brought to the hospital by ambulance, then you get an additional bill on top of it all. Unless you go through each bill with a fine toothed comb the way a medical billing advocate would, you may be overcharged for services.

If you are hit with substantial medical bills all at once, you may think that putting them on your credit card is the way to go. This is a mistake, since many medical bills can be paid over a period of time with little or no interest. Remember that these debts will never even hit your credit report unless they are charged-off and sold to a debt collector.

To handle medical debt, you might want to consider negotiating directly with the service provider. If that doesn't work, try establishing a payment plan. A payment plan may be a formal arrangement, or you may just start sending them at least 2% of the balance every month. You can also get help finding out how to pay your medical bills.

If you cannot afford payments, then you may want to look at what options you have to protect yourself from potential legal action. Medical debt is the number one reason for personal bankruptcy filings. Once a family who was already in debt has the added burden of repaying multiple medical debts, it can make matters much worse. Find out what options you have and make a good decision that will protect your assets and your financial future.