For many people, there will come a time in their life when they have to receive medical care that they either weren’t planning on or can’t afford. Whether this is to due a medical emergency or just an expensive procedure like having a baby, that medical debt is still your responsibility. Luckily, if you don’t have the money to pay everything in full, there are some options for you.
To help you navigate this, here are three tips for paying off large medical bills.
Double Check Everything On Your Bill
The very first thing you should do once you receive a large medical bill, according to Amy Fontinelle, a contributor to Investopedia.com, is to double check every item that you were billed for to see if there are any errors or discrepancies.
To best do this, you should compare the bill you were given from the medical professional or facility with the explanation of benefits that you got from your insurance regarding this medical event. If there’s anything that seems amiss or that you perceive to be incorrect, even if it’s being given the wrong medication or a procedure you just don’t recognize, be sure to call the billing department. They should be able to help you get everything sorted out so you’re only paying for what you actually used or had done.
Understand Your Payment Options
Once you have the version of your medical bill that you feel confident is correct, you then need to start paying on this bill.
When you can’t pay the bill in its entirety, your first step should be to call the billing department to see what some of your options are. According to Sean Pyles, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, some of your options will include things like going on a payment plan or trying to negotiate down the final cost. If those options don’t work for you, you can also look into things like getting a medical credit card or finding a medical bill advocate.
Keep All Documentation And Agreements
After you’ve been able to settle on a repayment option that works for you and the billing department, Patty Lamberti, a contributor to Money Under 30, advises that you get everything in writing or record every phone call that you have so that you have documentation about the agreed upon repayment plan. Additionally, once you start making payments, make sure you keep all that documentation as well, just in case something comes under dispute in the future.
If you’ve just received a large medical bill that you’re not sure is correct or how you’ll be able to pay for it, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you figure this out.