Penguin Pick of the Month: Managing Medical Bills

by | Jan 5, 2019

Charlie is always browsing the interwebs looking for the best money information to share with friends like you. This week, Charlie found an important article about managing medical bills. Nearly 20 percent of young adults lack health insurance and more than 10 percent have medical bills in collection. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can deal with medical debt head-on.

Don’t have time to read the whole article? Here are two takeaways to get you started:

Avoid Collections

Knowing how to deal with a medical bill upfront can help you avoid the major credit score damage of the debt going to collections. If you’re unable to pay the bill in full when you receive it, you have options:

  • Ask the medical provider to reduce the bill
  • Inquire about payment plans
  • Transfer the debt to a 0% interest credit card (good credit is required)
  • Hire a medical bill advocate to negotiate on your behalf (for a fee)

Tip: When you call the medical provider, be upfront about your situation. Tell them that you want to pay the debt, but only have X amount of income to work with. The most important thing to do is to take action. Ignoring the debt will only make the problem get bigger.

Settle Collections

Medical debt already in collections? You actually have more power than you think. The creditor that holds your debt likely bought it from the medical provider for a fraction of what you owe. Couple that with their intense desire to be paid, and you may be able to settle the debt on the cheap. Always haggle!

Tip: Charlie can help you tweak your budget so you can pay off your medical debt. Just tell him ‘budget’, and he’ll walk you through it.

Related Bonus Article: Did you miss the health insurance enrollment deadline last month? Read this.

Tell Charlie: Have you successfully negotiated a medical bill reduction? If so, what tips can you share?

 

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