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5 Ways To Tackle Medical Debt

Medical debt can be one of the most painful types of debt to face, considering that it is rarely a result of choices made. Rather, medical debt is usually the result of sickness, illness, chronic conditions and/or important preventive care unpaid for by insurance.

At the same time that you are grappling with a hospital bill or other health care-related financial obligation, you may be unable to work because of your condition. A cancer diagnosis can mean you will miss work often due to necessary treatment appointments during the day — so even if you try to keep up with your job, you may be unable to continue going to work.

Losing your job may mean you will lose access to affordable insurance, worsening the situation.

Medical debt may also grow due to other factors completely outside your control. A manufacturer may have raised prices astronomically on medications you depend on. Your insurance company's may have decided your favorite doctor is an "out-of-network" provider. Now, along with other debts, you have racked up too many unpaid copays.

Whatever the root of your medical debt problem, here are five ways to tackle the problem:

  1. Stay informed about your own health care needs and opportunities so you will be ready to take advantage of all cost reduction options available to you.
  2. When a large ticket health care service is recommended — such as an MRI or a hip replacement — compare prices among different providers and get preapproval and co-pay cost estimates in writing from your insurance company before you go through with the procedure.
  3. Once medical debt has been incurred, negotiate with the provider. Get an agreement for a payment plan or an agreement to reduce fees for services that you require frequently. If your debt burden is large, your provider may agree to a settlement of much less than the original bill to discourage you from filing bankruptcy. A lawyer should get this settlement agreement agreed to in writing for you. What if you need ongoing treatments to continue before paying your bill? Get legal advice as soon as possible.
  4. Do not automatically take "no" for an answer from your insurer. Appeal major denials through established channels and if the answer still seems unreasonable, talk to a lawyer who can help you challenge unreasonable refusals.
  5. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney if your medical debt is truly out of control. There is no shame in inquiring about all forms of debt relief. Know your options in the face of medical problems that bring high financial obligations with them.

Know Your Rights And Your Options When Medical Debt Has Grown Out Of Control

The Law Office of April Perry Randle, PLLC, in Cleveland, has helped many Tennessee residents get out from under medical debt through bankruptcy. I am April Randle, and I understand your desire to pay your bills. I also want you to know your legal rights before negative consequences such as a wage garnishment occurs. For more information and help, call my TN law firm at 423-464-6908 or send an email inquiry through this website to request a free consultation.