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How to deal with medical debt

We recently talked about a study that found that 65 to 70 percent of people who will file for bankruptcy this year will do so because of extreme medical debt. The rising cost of health care is causing a huge financial burden for many people in Oregon and across the country. Even people with health insurance are looking for relief from medical debt.

The Vice President at NerdWallet Health has advice on how to deal with medical expenses. She states that many people are able to negotiate their debt with the help of a professional. Some companies will work with hospitals to lower your bills. One way they can do this is by locating billing errors. It is important to realize, however, they will take a percentage of the money they save you as payment for their services.

If you have a surgery or other major procedure on the horizon, you should research the cost of the procedure at various Oregon hospitals. This same financial expert points out that the price of the exact same surgery can vary widely between facilities. If your procedure is already complete and you are dealing with a high bill, you may want to call the hospital and ask for a lower rate. Offering to pay a big portion of the money upfront may be helpful.

Medical expenses can be difficult to plan for because you never know when an emergency is going to happen or when someone is going to become sick. If your hospital bills become unmanageable, you may want to contact a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your legal options.

Source: NY Daily News, “How to negotiate hospital bills and avoid medical bankruptcy,” Christina Lamontagne, August 20, 2013

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