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Tips for dealing with medical debt

If you recently suffered a serious illness or injury, chances are that your treatment racked up an enormous medical bill. Unfortunately, all it takes is one hospitalization to drive you into debt that seems insurmountable.

In fact, medical bills are one of the primary reasons Wisconsin residents file for bankruptcy protection. But before deciding that bankruptcy is your only option, consider these tips for dealing with your medical debt:

Keep track of your own medical records. It’s alarming how many medical bills are flawed. In order to make sure that you are not being overcharged keep accurate track of the medical treatments you have received. Then make sure to get an itemized billing statement from the health care provider.

Do research about average medical costs and your insurance coverage. If you want to negotiate on your medical charges you should have an idea of what an average rate would be for the treatments you received. It also helps to be well-versed on your insurance plan to make sure you notice when you are being charged for something your plan should have taken care of.

Start working toward a lower bill right away. People have a tendency to ignore large medical bills until they are forced to deal with it, but it’s important to deal with it before it is sent to collections and your credit suffers as a result. Ignoring the bill won’t make it go away.

Consider the payment options available. Many health care providers offer payment plans and even discounts for patients who are able to pay in a lump sum right away. Financial assistance may also be available to qualifying patients. Call your health care provider for options available.

Ask for help if you need it. There are many advocates out there who help people facing serious medical debt, including our bankruptcy law firm. We offer bankruptcy alternative services that help people in Wisconsin settle their debt and move on with their lives. Contact our firm today.

Source: U.S. News, “5 Expert Tips for Negotiating Your Medical Bills,” Lacie Glover, Oct. 16, 2014

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