Can You Talk Your Way Out Of Unfair Medical Bills?
Yes, it is good news that credit reporting agencies will exclude many medical debts from your credit report. It is also encouraging that the No Surprises Act has lowered the cost of emergency treatment for patients with health insurance. Meanwhile, medical bills remain a major source of debt and financial insecurity for Floridians. It is possible to settle medical bills for a fraction of the original sticker price, and you do not even have to go through years of creditor harassment from collection agencies to do it. In fact, it is easier, less stressful, and perhaps even cheaper if you nip medical bills in the bud, even while admitting that you will not have the means to pay the asking price in the foreseeable future. It takes some planning and an investment of time, however, and most people’s financial problems are not limited to one medical bill. Even if you can talk your way out of the medical bill that just arrived, a Plantation debt lawyer can help you find a more comprehensive solution to your debt problems.
Don’t Take Medical Bills at Face Value
David Epstein of Slate advises patients that making the first move when it comes to settling your medical debts for a lower amount can help you make the bills go away more quickly and with less hassle. His strategy can be outlined as follows:
- If the bill is not itemized, contact the hospital and ask them to send an itemized bill. Once you receive the itemized bill, research the billing codes; you might be able to find them out from the hospital or your health insurance provider.
- Research what other providers charge for the same services you received. Write down the difference between the going rate and what you are being billed.
- Call your hospital’s billing department and negotiate. Show them what you found out by comparison shopping. They might be willing to match the lowest offer or settle your bill for the cash amount that they charge uninsured patients.
You may be surprised at how willing the hospital is to reduce the amount of your bill, especially if you offer to make a lump sum payment. This is because, when patients don’t pay, hospitals don’t make money. Collection agencies buy debt from hospitals dirt cheap, so the amount you are offering is probably more than collection agencies will pay for it.
If the hospital is not willing to budge, settling the debt in small claims court is another option. In Florida, the small claims court has jurisdiction over cases where the amount at stake is $5,000 or less. Show the judge the same evidence you showed the hospital, and they might lower the amount for you.
Contact a South Florida Debt Lawyer About Strategically Talking Your Way Out of Medical Bills
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you persuade creditors to settle your debts for much lower amounts than what the creditors originally requested. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Plantation, Florida to discuss your case.