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How to Pay Medical Bills You Can’t Afford

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How to Pay Medical Bills You Can’t Afford

In the United States, the costs of treating an illness, accident, or preparing for pregnancy can add up quickly. Even with health insurance, the costs of medical care can leave you with significant medical debt. According to CNBC, approximately 137 million Americans struggle with medical financial hardship, and medical debt is the top reason that people consider cashing out their retirement savings.

Taking a proactive approach toward paying your medical debt can help you avoid accumulating delinquent medical debt on your credit report. With that in mind, here’s how to handle paying for medical bills you can’t afford.

Review your medical bills.

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Although it’s common to feel stressed over medical bills, it’s important to review your charges and avoid ignoring your bills. Start by carefully reviewing your medical bills the same way you’d review your credit card bill or bank account statement. While reviewing your charges, search for an explanation of the benefits provided by your insurance company. Additionally, consider asking your healthcare provider for an itemized list of charges.

In some cases, patients are charged for services they didn’t receive and medications they never took. If you had an extended hospital stay, you might have been charged for a full day’s room rate even if you checked out in the morning. According to data published by the American Medical Association, 7.1 percent of medical bills paid contained errors. Because hospitals tend to make billing mistakes, reviewing your bill can help you avoid unnecessary charges.

Talk to your healthcare provider about financial aid.

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After carefully reviewing your bill, ask your healthcare provider if they offer financial assistance. For example, the cause of your medical debt was an extended stay at the hospital, you may be able to negotiate a lower bill.

If your income disqualifies you for financial assistance, comparing the costs of your medical care with costs charged by other healthcare providers can help you cut costs. Online resources like the Healthcare Bluebook help patients research the local costs of medical procedures. Comparing costs can not only help you negotiate with your healthcare provider but can also help you make informed decisions before future medical procedures.

Additionally, negotiate when and how you should repay your medical debt. Depending on the amount you owe, paying your bill in total might drain your savings account. Consider asking your healthcare provider to set up an interest-free payment plan to help you pay smaller amounts over a set number of installments.

Apply for a personal loan.

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If you don’t want to use your credit card or savings account to pay for medical care, you should consider applying for a personal loan. For example, if you’re suffering from symptoms of urinary incontinence, including urine loss and leakage, urgency, a loss of bladder control, and other bladder problems, working with a physical therapist or urologist can improve your quality of life and reduce unpleasant symptoms. Applying for a personal loan can provide financial peace of mind and help you pay for necessary treatment, including medication, nonsurgical treatment, and urinary incontinence procedures.

According to the loan experts at Lending Builder, researching, reviewing, and comparing lenders and interest rates can help you find better rates and make the best decision for your financial situation. While many borrowers turn to community banks and credit unions for personal loans, comparing lenders online can help you find lower interest rates to pay off your medical debt and explore treatment options. Like community banks and credit unions, online lenders consider an applicant’s Equifax and TransUnion credit score and credit history when offering an interest rate.

Dealing with medical debt can be daunting, but reviewing your bill, negotiating payment options, and taking out a personal loan can help you pay bills you can’t afford.

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