Have you ever had a situation where you did not have insurance or had insufficient insurance and received a massive medical bill? If so, welcome to the club! There are hundreds of thousands of people who face this problem every year with medical expenses. The problem is that, generally, when one does not have health insurance or is underinsured, there is an underlying reason for this within their budget. Whether it is not enough income or the refusal to pay high medical premiums, this will prevent you from fulfilling your medical bill obligations. If it's you, there are ways to handle your medical bills without a single payment or by letting go. We will analyze the many ways in which you can protect yourself from an unexpected medical cost and get out of it in a good place economically. Let's start!
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Verify the accuracy of the medical bill
When you receive a medical bill, the first thing you should do is make sure it is accurate. Verify all work done on the invoice. Make sure the invoice is specifically intended for you. Also, if insurance was used, make sure that the cost shown is accurate after the application of the insurance. Finally, this may sound like common sense, but make sure the invoice is real. Yes, people are sending fake medical bills to people and are paying them for fear that they can drastically damage their credit. Be sure to do your research beforehand and make sure the invoice is accurate and reflects the actual services offered.
If it is not accurate, you should contact the hospital you went to immediately. This should be addressed as soon as possible so that it can be corrected before it is too late. The last thing you want is for an unjustified charge to arrive in your pocket or, even worse, land on your credit report by letting it go too long without supervision. If you waited too long and the invoice is on your credit report as a collection element, it is not the end of the line. You can still dispute the charge if it was in fact inaccurate. Disputing the bill will force the hospital to prove that those charges really belong to you beyond a reasonable doubt. To file a dispute, visit How to initiate a credit dispute to learn how.
Pay as soon as possible
Do your best for your medical bills as soon as possible. While this is usually a large amount of money if you do not have insurance or insufficient insurance, it will save you some major headaches in the future by not addressing the problems. It will also save you even more potential fees associated with debt. Sounds good on paper, but I'm almost sure that if you're here, you probably let the bill expire a bit overdue. While this is fine and won't hurt you yet, don't let it go further. Take action regarding your medical bill that expires as soon as possible and avoid having to do much more in the future. You'll thank The Credit Dojo later.
What to do if the medical bill goes to collections
If medical bills are charged, there is no need to panic yet. While a collection element on your credit report seems bad for potential lenders, it is not the end of the world. There are still many ways to address these elements. You can do one of the following:
Talk directly to the Hospital's Accounts Receivable Department.
If you want to avoid collections altogether, this would be a good starting point. At the end of the day, all they want is money. Depending on how you describe your situation to the Accounts Receivable team, they can work with you in a way that you didn't think was possible. They will take much smaller monthly payments or even in some cases reduce the total amount due. Try this before trying harder with the other methods to address a medical bill
Talk to the collection agency and request a written payment cancellation.
If you plan to follow this route, whatever happens, MAKE SURE YOU GET THIS IN WRITING! I'm sorry, I had to emphasize the importance of this, since in some cases, people were told one thing over the phone, but they actually had to deal with the stain on their credit report for 7 years because the creditor It didn't take long until the end of the bargain. Make sure that if this type of agreement is made, it is clear in writing. You can find a sample of the Payment by Elimination letter in the site download section or by clicking on HERE.
Pay, then send a goodwill letter
If you end up paying the bill in full, this is not the end of the line. You still have options to fix the situation and get rid of that negative mark reported by the creditor. You can send a letter of goodwill to the creditor explaining your situation and how it was delayed. Generally, if you have a sufficiently valid reason, they will remove the mark from your credit report completely, since the financial obligation has been fulfilled
Dispute the item with the credit bureau
This is the last absolute resource you will want to take when dealing with collection agencies. If all of the above has failed and you still have this item on your credit report, challenge the item either by mail, by phone or through the online dispute forms of the credit bureaus (each credit bureau now allows you to dispute almost anything online). For more information on how to initiate a credit dispute, see the article on How to initiate a credit dispute.
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Do not let a medical bill hinder you
Do not allow a financial obligation in relation to a medical bill to harm your good financial situation (credit). Take steps to ensure that it is paid in a timely manner. Be sure to use the tactics listed in this article to avoid or erase any negative mark on your credit. Thank you for visiting The Credit Dojo. Watch for more articles coming soon based on real-world experience and professional research. While you wait, if you need to control your credit, visit Sesame credit.
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