Finance

Get Help Paying Your Medical Bills – List of Medical Loans for Financing Medical Expenses

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This is a guide on How to Get Help Paying Medical Bills: My team has come up with some ideas on how to negotiate your medical debt, to help reduce all payments. This will in a long run tackle your unpaid hospital bills weighing on you. If you don’t previously know this, be aware that your medical bill may be negotiable before and after it goes to collections. Many people are ignorant of this. This is the reason why this article contains a list of Best Medical Loans for Financing Medical Expenses. With this, you can Get Help Paying your Bills.

The post contains all unpaid medical bills payments guides. Whether the result of a billing error, surprise out-of-network fee or COVID-19 diagnosis, it always gives burden to millions of people including Americans.

According to 2021/22 estimates from Stanford University economist Neale Mahoney, Medical debts in the U.S. total around $140 billion. This is really huge. And researchers suspect many medical debts tied to COVID-19 treatment in hospitals. Some are related to job loss, thereby having a significant impact on families’ debt load, credit scores and budgets.

Although many people are unaware but there are options for individuals and/or families struggling with medical bills payment. But I want to let you know that free patient advocates, negotiation strategies as well as financial assistance programs can help you manage your debt.

What to know about Unpaid Medical Bills

These are what you should to know if you have unpaid medical bills:

  • You’ve to take pre-emptive steps when possible.
  • Basically understand what happens when medical bills go unpaid. 
  • Learn and understand how medical bills affect your credit. 
  • Always check your medical bills for errors.
  • Quickly negotiate medical bills and smartly.
  • Apply and get help paying the medical bills.
  • Carefully consider filing for bankruptcy for medical bills.
  • Lastly, Know what to expect from medical bills during COVID.

Read on for more information about each strategy for tackling medical bills.

You’ve to Take Pre-emptive Steps When Possible 

First, for you to completely avoid accumulating further medical debt, there are a few possible steps you can take. Make sure you discuss your bill so that you don’t receive a potentially costly treatment to avoid any surprises.

“Patients should discuss price details in advance” says Adria Gross, the founder and CEO of MedWise Insurance Advocacy and MedWise Billing Inc..

“If a staff in a hospital quotes you an amount of what it’s going to cost you, get it in writing,” Adria says. Why? “Because they can turn around and charge you two to four times the amount. Thereby changing what they said it would cost you. There have been cases where people go in for a surgery, and to Anaesthesiologist first, and the hospital management may be out of network. Simply make sure you discuss this.”

Basically Understand What Happens When Medical Bills Go Unpaid

In America, when medical bills go unpaid for sometime, your doctor’s office or hospital may try to personally contact you regarding the payment balance due.

Basically, your debt will be sent to a medical fees collections agency by the hospital. They will attempt to recoup the debt if debt goes unpaid for around 60 to 120 days says Amy Loftsgordon, foreclosure. Amy is collections and debt management editor at Nolo, a publisher of do-it-yourself legal books and software. Now, at this point, be rest assured that you will receive calls, texts, emails and letters from the debt collector’s agency. Then and there, you may have the opportunity to negotiate your debt payment structure.

On the whole, if you continue to ignore medical debt, it won’t be a great idea. Because it may ultimately hurt your credit score and result in a lawsuit against you. However, you also do have human rights in these situations. Therefore, debts collections agencies can’t just harass you, threaten to arrest or deport you (for immigrants), or call you in the dead of the night.

Learn and Understand How Medical Bills Affect Your Credit Score

If your medical debt goes unpaid for 60 to 120 days, it can significantly hurt your credit score. But beginning July 1 this year, the major credit reporting bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will have a new update. They will implement a few major changes to how medical debt affects your credit score in America.

The first thing they will do is that paid medical debt will be automatically removed from a person’s credit scores. Secondly, the current waiting or debt period of 180 days before unpaid medical debt is added to credit reports will increase to 1 year. And lastly, beginning in January 2023, if your unpaid medical debt is about $500 or less, it won’t hurt your credit score at all. But that does not mean you wont pay your medical bills.

“With all of that in mind and immediately all of these policy changes go into effect, unpaid medical debt in collection will only hurt your credit. But that will be if one year passes, and you owe over $500, and you don’t pay it,” Loftsgordon says. “Going forward, the credit bureaus might actually increase the $500 threshold. Now look clearly because that’s something to watch out for.”

Always Check Your Medical Bills for Errors

Human error do happen. So, if you are surprised by a medical bill increase or suspect your medical bill is the result of a mistake, begin by calling your doctor’s office directly. Sometimes, charging procedures are often miscoded in computers, Gross says, and this can finally result in incorrect bills that can be expensive.

“Let me tell you; the very first thing you’re going to do is call the doctor immediately,” she says. “It can be that the number on the bill is very often an outside billing company. They may not be willing to do anything positive for you because they are paid a percentage and want to get their money. So, go right to the provider and totally discuss it.”

As a patient/customer, you have the right to view an itemized bill. There you can carefully audit it for any unnecessary charges. So be sure to be on the lookout for erroneous hospital fees and double billing mistakes. This will save you a lot of cost.

Quickly Negotiate Medical Bills and Smartly

As a patient, your medical bill may be negotiable before and after you collect the bill. Some medical providers may be willing to accept a lower amount paid in a lump sum. Others may offer a discount if you make a large down payment, then pay the remaining balance over time. There are also some who accepts instalments (pay small-small option).

Many Hospitals and medical providers in the US may be particularly willing to offer a discount for uninsured patients. Do your research very well and understand how the hospital works.

Apply and Get Help Paying the Medical Bills

Searching out a patient advocate is a perfect way to begin getting help with your medical bills.

What is the Patient Advocate Foundation? It is a non-profit organisation that offers case management & educational resources. Now, for you to be able to take advantage of free case management, you must have undergone a though diagnosis. That is the patient must be diagnosed with a chronic, debilitating and life threatening disease.

This support comes in different ways and may include help appealing health insurance denials. They can also assist in navigating Medicaid, Medicare and low-cost health care and medicine programs. Furthermore, they can also support in paying for things like food, rent, utilities and transportation to the hospital.

Caitlin Donovan, senior director at the Patient Advocate Foundation has this to say; “Insurance Appeals and denials can get very technical. However, if you have a professional guidance, at least 40% of cases that are appealed are overturned in favor of the patient”. “In the long run, it’s a process worth passing through.”

On the other hand, there are also medical bill management companies as well as private patient advocacy that offers this service for a fee.

Better still, some hospitals themselves may also offer financial assistance to qualified low-income patients who can’t repay their medical bills. So you can check with your hospital and consider applying for financial assistance even if you think you may not be qualified for it.

Carefully Consider Filing for Bankruptcy for Medical Bills

In some cases, filing for bankruptcy for medical bills may be your best bet to get this debt out of the way. But you have to weigh this decision carefully before you apply it. Bear in mind that bankruptcies may remain on your FICO credit report for up to 10 years and make it difficult for you to borrow in the future. You may not be able to apply and get a credit card. To be on the safe side, always consult a bankruptcy attorney before going down this route. While you’re still considering this option, look at what other patients are searching to get answers;

  • Comprehensive medical expenses list
  • Medical expenses in accounting
  • Best medical expenses insurance
  • medical expenses deduction
  • what medical expenses are not tax deductible
  • proof of medical expenses for taxes
  • is it worth claiming medical expenses on taxes
  • medical expense deduction 2022/2023

Lastly, Know What to Expect From Medical Bills During COVID 

Sometime in early 2020, a lot of health insurance companies waived co-pays, deductibles & other costs for COVID-19 patients. But a lot of the relief options offered early in the pandemic has ended. Due to this fact, many people have incurred coronavirus-related medical debt. GDP Statistics researchers estimate hospitalized COVID-19 patients without waivers could face out-of-pocket bills of about $3,800. However, this is for those with private insurance, and $1,500 for those with Medicare Advantage plans. You can research more for details.

Loftsgordon says that these ongoing medical costs and debt related to the pandemic pushed credit bureaus to make the changes taking effect this summer. This will help to limit the impact of COVID-related debts on individuals’ credit scores. We believe so too.

“Presently, several researches shows that medical debts are often the result of an emergency or an unexpected health situation, like COVID. But, medical debts are not necessarily a total indicator of a person’s ability to repay other debts,” Loftsgordon says.

Thank you for reading this article, we will talk about the following topics in our next article;

  1. government programs to help pay medical bills
  2. interest free medical loans
  3. loans for medical procedures with bad credit
  4. best medical loans for surgery
  5. medical loans for surgery with bad credit
  6. medical loan companies
  7. emergency medical loans for bad credit
  8. sofi medical loan