After a recent medical diagnosis, you expect to spend more time in medical care facilities. You do not want to add to your current debt woes, but you may not know how to get help paying medical bills.
U.S. News & World Report offers tips for navigating medical bills. Get ahead of medical debt or learn how to take care of current bills.
Review your medical bills
Before dropping a dime on health care bills, examine them for errors. Double-billing and charges for services or items a patient did not receive are examples of common medical bill mistakes. Do not hesitate to question anything that looks off, as you should not pay for someone else’s mistake.
If you notice something and want more information about it, ask that the medical facility put your account on hold for 30 days so the bill does not go to collections while you wait for answers. You may also need to reach out to your insurance company if you get a bill for something your policy should cover.
Know how collections works
You may feel nervous about waiting to pay a medical bill until you have more details. Understanding how medical care facilities handle unpaid bills could help ease your concerns. How long it takes before bills go to collections depends on the geographic area, the health care facility and the medical service you received. Once an agency buys the unpaid bill, expect phone calls, letters and text messages requesting payment.
Ask about financial help
Depending on the hospital and your income, you could qualify for financial help if you cannot pay your medical bills. Nonprofit facilities must provide such help, but for-profit institutions may offer assistance if you ask.
Improving your physical health should not harm your financial health. Learning how to navigate medical debt may help your peace of mind.