Categorized | Business

The Need for Hospital Bill Assistance

bank-credits.comLack of affordable medical care is an issue that is gaining a lot of attention lately. Not only is it a tragedy on many levels, it’s also ridiculous. Hospital debt often occurs for reasons that are typically outside of the debtor’s control; and not only that, the debt is extraordinary, (often hundreds of thousands of dollars). In addition, hospitals rarely give consumers a chance to choose cheaper alternatives.

How it Happens

Sometimes you get medical debt as a result of an unexpected injury or hospitalization due to sickness. However, if you are like many Americans, you might be underinsured, or you might not have any insurance at all. Many people just don’t have the means to pay for such extraordinary costs that come up unexpectedly. Even most payment plans are completely outside of most consumer and family budgets.

Add to that, the fact that medical debt grows faster than just about any other form of debt. Within two hours, you can accrue enough debt to send someone to college for a year. It’s frustrating to think about these issues when you are also trying to heal and become healthy.

Debt collection calls for medical and hospital debt are just as stressful as calls from other types of credit collection agencies, perhaps even more so for some people. Find out your rights!

There are also sometimes legal complications that come from medical debts as well. For many, medical debt is the reason that they go into bankruptcy.

Did You Know…?

Sometimes the medical bills you receive are not correct. Medical bills are some of the most complicated to read if you are not a doctor, a nurse or a billing professional. Think about it, medical billing is a career that requires specific training, so you are likely missing something when you read through your bills. In fact, these things are common:

-Overcharges
-The addition of expensive tests and procedures you never knew about
-Services you never received and
-Upgrades you never asked for

Even if you need the hospital billing department to explain every little thing on your bill to you, don’t be afraid to ask. Check out this “Hardball” video where the host discusses a recent “Time Magazine,” article about outrageous medical bill overcharges.

There is Help

Many people who are in medical debt don’t realize that there is help available. There are many resources out there for hospital bill assistance because of the nature of these charges; how they came about; and how impossible they are for most consumers to afford. However, finding this help is not easy to do on your own. Though it might be possible, it could take years of research to isolate assistance programs that you qualify for.

However, there are charitable organizations and patient advocacy groups that will help you understand your bills; learn your patient rights; give you access to state, national and charitable resources you didn’t already know about; and create a game plan to cut your debt through negotiation and financial help. Here are some facts you might not know:

-Sometimes hospitals will negotiate bills with you directly
-There is a great deal of help for seniors, families and pregnant moms
-There are discount medications available through discount card programs and charities that issue cheaper medicine
-If you know about your hospital stay beforehand and can prepare, there are often doctors and clinics focused on providing low-cost care to their communities. These offices might be able to service your needs
-Some hospitals will instantly put you on an extremely affordable payment program if you ask them, and show proof of your financial need
-Some hospitals and doctors will give you extreme discounts if you can pay a large part of your bill in cash
-There are some federal programs, state programs and charities that will pay part of, (or all) your medical bills and
-There are more possible solutions

The Need for Hospital Bill Assistance

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