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Article: Dealing with Medical Debt

Unfortunately, when you get sick or injured, getting better is often not the only concern. Even if you have health insurance, you can get stuck with hefty medical bills. Some people feel that they have no choice but to ignore them or file for bankruptcy. However, there are many ways you can make paying your medical bills more manageable.

Check the bills
Medical bills are not always accurate, so it is a good idea to look over them carefully. Were you billed twice for the same procedure or for something that was not done? If you have health insurance, make sure your insurance company paid for everything they should have.

Ask for a repayment plan
Many medical providers will allow you to make smaller payments until the bill is paid off and often won’t even charge interest. Think about how much you can afford to send each month, and let your medical provider know.

Look for assistance
Many hospitals get government funds and donations to cover the bills for patients who cannot pay them themselves. Talk to your hospital’s billing department or financial counselor about what programs they have. Other types of medical providers typically do not get such funds but may give you a discount if you describe your hardship.

Create a plan for the future
While your current concern may be the bills you need to pay now, chances are, you will have more medical bills to pay in the future. Getting sick is just a part of life. However, if you start saving today, it will be easier to pay whatever bills come your way tomorrow.

Looking for financial advice? As a benefit of your membership, you have access to BALANCE, a free financial education and counseling service. Their certified counselors can answer your questions, review your credit report, and help you create a budget. Call 888-456-2227 or visit www.balancepro.net for more information.

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