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How can I dispute a medical debt?

If you have a medical debt that you believe may not be accurate, you have the right to dispute the claim. The easiest time for you to resolve the issue is when you first receive a bill from the medical provider. However, you may still be able to correct the problem even if the debt has gone to collections.

To correct a bill with your medical provider, you must first have information to back up your claim that the billing is incorrect. You can find this information by comparing the bill you receive from your provider with the statement of benefits your insurance sends you. If the amount your insurance company states they cover is different from what your provider bills, you should immediately contact the billing department in writing and request a new bill. If you are uninsured, you may find many helpful online resources that show how much an average procedure costs. If you notice a huge difference, you should also request a new bill.

If a bill has erroneously gone to collections, you may still have an opportunity to correct it. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, you have 30 days after you receive written notice of a debt to dispute it. If you fail to do so within that time period, the debt collector can assume you agree the debt is valid and continue pursuing the amount due. To dispute the bill, you must send a written notification to the collector requesting verification that you do indeed owe the billed amount, and the contact information of the original creditor. This notice should include detailed information about the charges you are disputing and why, providing evidence for your claims. For the best result, make your case as clearly and concisely as possible. This information is not intended as legal advice and should be considered educational only. 

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