Even with insurance, the cost of medical treatment in the United States for an accident, pregnancy, or illness could climb into the thousands. Opening the bill is eye-opening, and you can immediately find yourself in more debt than you can handle. Medical facilities rely on chargemaster management for their billing and revenue stream, but you may fail to see how your incident was so expensive. When you are stuck with a bill you weren’t planning on, these tips can help you make sure the bill is fair.
Verify the Charges
You may have to call the billing department to find out what you are being charged for, and though it may cost time, it may save you several hundred dollars. Billing systems can make mistakes and add charges for services that did not occur or medications that were not taken. Verify every charge against your experience.
Address Your Bills Immediately
Even if you can’t afford the balance, call the facility to work out a payment arrangement. Ignoring your bill will lead to collections calls and a negative hit on your credit. Don’t try to pay it off through credit cards, either. Your bill gets caught in a vicious cycle of high-interest rate charges, making the bill even higher. Negotiate with the company to pay something every month, as these don’t have the same impact on your credit and are generally at zero interest.
Record Your Conversations and Ask for Written Confirmation
If you have agreed to a payment plan with the facility, make sure you get a copy of the agreement in writing. Don’t pay on the account until this information is received, and keep records of all payments that were made. With proof of payment, you can dispute debt collection efforts that may come up.
Even if you can’t afford the bill that you received, don’t ignore it. Follow these action steps to get things underway without a negative impact on your credit.