It is now estimated that medical debt accounts for nearly 40 percent of all personal debt burdens, and represents over 60% of bankruptcy filings. With one in three Americans describing their medical bills as a “financial burden”, the slope becomes even more slippery as the economy continues to challenge the workforce. Medical illness and job loss are two big culprits behind financial hardship. Luckily, there are ways to combat such trouble.
Steps Towards Financial Health
Large medical bills are a common occurrence for many people, as health insurance coverage is nonexistent or lacks adequate coverage. One of the best places to start against the fight for affordable medical coverage is pre-planning. Shop around for healthcare options that you can afford. This may mean that you secure a higher deductible in compromise for more thorough emergency or serious illness coverage, a trade off that could save you thousands down the line. If you can’t afford medical coverage, find out what options are available to you through your employer or state government.
Regardless of your insurance coverage, you do have the right to negotiate the costs of medical treatment. In many cases, negotiating and prepaying for services ahead of time can save you money. However, if you experience an unexpected need for medical care, be sure to appeal your bill with the provider. Negotiating debts isn’t easy and does require persistence. The key is contacting the service provider as soon as you receive the bill and discuss payment options. Setting up an automatic payment plan in exchange for lowering the overall bill total is one technique that is often effective.
If you are having trouble negotiating with medical providers, are already in debt collections or are unsure about your ability to repay even a portion of your bill, contact a Dayton bankruptcy attorney. Medical bills are one of the easiest types of debt to have discharged in a bankruptcy, putting you back on track to a financially healthy future.