How To Make Nuisance Medical Bills Go Away
When you get a bill in the mail that you can’t pay, a lot of people’s instinct is to ignore it, but that only makes things worse; if you do this, then in a few months, collection agencies will be pestering you about the same bill, and there might even be additional late fees tacked on by then. The best thing you can do is to address the bill promptly; of course, this does not mean paying money that you don’t have. In other words, it is possible to settle a debt for a lower amount without first enduring months or years of creditor harassment about the debt. You can save yourself a lot of money and a lot of stress if you make the first move. To find out more about your legal protections against unfairly expensive medical bills, contact a Philadelphia debt collection abuse lawyer.
Get an Itemized Bill and Research It
It is always distressing to get a medical bill you can’t afford, especially since you have little control over whether you need medical treatment, and it is difficult to research how much the treatment will cost before you receive it. The worst is when the bill just shows you a big number that you are responsible for paying, with little explanation as to how the creditor arrived at that number. Call the hospital and ask for an itemized bill; also ask for the billing codes. Then research how much other providers charge for those same services. Then you will be ready to start your charm offensive.
Call the Hospital and Offer to Settle for a Lower Amount
When creditors call you and you refuse to pay, it makes everyone’s mood worse. Conversely, when you call the hospital and offer to pay, everyone wins. Be friendly toward the billing clerk; tell them that you want to settle the debt so that you don’t have another unaffordable debt following you around. Share your findings about what the going rate for the services you received is. Chances are, the hospital will be willing to settle with you; even if you are only paying a fraction of the sticker price, it is still more money than the hospital would get by selling your unpaid debt to a collection agency.
Go to Small Claims Court
Small claims court is often an appropriate venue for settling medical debts. It only costs about $40 to take your case to small claims court. In Pennsylvania, small claims courts decide disputes where the amount of money at stake is $12,000 or less.
All of these solutions take some work, but it is a relief to take matters into your own hands and be proactive about settling your debts.
Contact Louis S. Schwartz About Settling Your Medical Debts Before They Get Out of Hand
A Philadelphia consumer law attorney can help you if you are struggling with medical bills that took you by surprise and are for amounts you cannot afford. Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.