Medical debt is a major problem for many Indiana residents. Even just a night or two in the hospital or an ambulance ride can result in huge bills that you do not have the money to pay.
If you’ve had ongoing treatment, your medical bills can pile up quickly, with amounts that just seem to get higher and more outrageous.
Paying off your medical debt could seem impossible, but there are some things you can try.
Read and understand every document
Carefully review each bill and make sure you understand what it means. Documents such as an explanation of benefits can be difficult to interpret.
Check the bills against your insurance coverage and question your provider on anything you do not understand. Billing errors can and do happen, so before you stress about a bill, make sure the amount is correct.
Deciphering all your medical bills could become too complex if your medical treatment involved long hospital stays or many different types of treatments.
Medical bills advocates and medical credit cards
You can hire a medical bill advocate, which is someone trained in how to examine medical bills. They can help find errors you may not catch which could potentially reduce your charges.
However, there is typically a charge for a medical bill advocate. Weigh the cost of hiring one against the benefits.
The same goes for things like medical credit cards or loans to pay off your medical bills. While the offers may initially sound promising, research any interest rates or extra costs involved before choosing these options.
Ask about a payment plan
You can always try talking to the medical providers to see if you can negotiate a payment plan. You can also ask if they are willing to reduce the total amount of the bill.
Many times, the medical providers are happy you are talking to them about payment options and knowing they will get some payment. You could be pleasantly surprised at what you can get by just asking.
While these are options, sometimes the debt is so unmanageable that even a payment plan is unrealistic. Filing for bankruptcy could potentially eliminate your medical debt, but it is best to see if you qualify and learn about the process before filing.