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Surprise medical bill? You aren't alone

When you're in a collision, get hurt or maybe you just have an illness that requires ongoing care, surprise medical bills can be devastating to your pocketbook. It's no secret that medical debt plagues many people in America, and if you've had a surprise bill, you may be worried about how you can handle that new debt.

Medical bills quickly add up, and they can be a real burden on your family. It's hard to deny treatment when it's needed, but the shock of a bill totally in the thousands can be traumatic to even the most financially stable. For one family in the news, their daughter's heart surgery resulted in over $100,000 in bills.

What about the insurance coverage the family had? It simply didn't cover everything the emergency department provided. The family was left to pay for things like hospital supplies, X-ray technician fees and assistant surgeon fees.

If you're faced with a bill that's too high, there are a few things you can do. Negotiating directly with the hospital can help. In this case, the grandmother and her mother were able to discuss their concerns with the hospital and get the hospital to lower the bills from $100,000 to $10,000, a substantial difference.

If that doesn't work for you, there are other options. Bankruptcy is just one of many you may want to try. From payment plans to negotiating with the help of your attorney, you may be able to get your bills adjusted or eliminated, so you can focus on moving on with your life without debt over your head.

Source: NBC News, "Hefty Surprise Medical Bills Can Be a Burden for Families," Olivia Sterns and Michael Cappetta, May 13, 2016

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