Even if you have a medical malpractice case, you may have mounting medical bills to contend with. How should you satisfy bill collectors without going broke, incurring unnecessary fees, or impacting your credit rating?
U.S. News & World Report offers the following tips:
Look over bills for accuracy
No matter the reason for medical bills, they may contain mistakes. Look over all paperwork for errors such as repeat billing, medications you did not receive and unanticipated fees. Contact the health facility if you notice anything amiss. Also, ask for extra time to evaluate your bills and talk to your insurance company to delay involving bill collectors. In addition to the possibility of mistakes in billing on the medical facility’s part, your insurance provider may have declined coverage for some of the charges.
If you do not notice mistakes on your bill but are still unable to pay the bills, try to negotiate with your insurance company for coverage or with the medical provider for a reduced cost or more time to pay. For instance, perhaps you can arrange an interest-free payment plan. Even if your insurance provider does not cover a procedure or service, you can still ask the facility to charge you the insurance rate instead of the self-pay rate, which is typically higher. Working with a patient advocate or offering to set up a payment plan may also make it easier to take care of medical bills.
Ask about financial assistance
Did you receive medical treatment at a nonprofit hospital? If so, federal law requires such health facilities to provide financial help for disadvantaged patients. To qualify for assistance, prepare to show proof of your financial situation with tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements.