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Tips for avoiding serious problems with medical debt

Anyone can find themselves in need of urgent medical care, whether through an unexpected illness or injury. Being faced with a serious health concern is a stressful matter, and one that can be difficult for Tennessee families. Once the patient has been stabilized and is in the process of healing and recovering, yet another stressful situation begins: the medical debt that so often follows a hospitalization. Knowing how to deal with those charges can help individuals avoid excessive medical debt.

One thing that can help with medical debt is paying close attention to each and every bill that comes in. Many different people are involved in the medical billing process. Each time that a bill changes hands, that is an opportunity for mistakes to be made. Check the bill carefully, and follow up on anything that does not seem like a legitimate charge.

It is also important to know that there is room for negotiation when it comes to how payments will be made. At the end of the day, care providers and hospitals want to get paid, and a significant portion of people who receive care will never pay their bills. Determine how much money can be put toward paying down medical debt each month, and then negotiate with the provider to get the payment closer to that number.

Taking a proactive approach to medical debt can be an effective way to make an unexpected illness or injury easier to manage. However, there are cases in Tennessee and across the nation in which no degree of effort will be sufficient to bring debt under control. In such instances, it may be necessary to seek personal bankruptcy protection, and to rebuild one's financial standing from the ground up.

Source: USA Today, "3 medical debt mistakes to avoid", Sean Pyles, April 30, 2017

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