When you have a medical procedure, the expense can be extreme. You may find that you have thousands of dollars in debt from one single procedure that your insurance didn't cover or that you didn't have insurance for. While you may pay your bill on time, that doesn't mean that you are protected against damage to your credit report. Sometimes it's medical bills that you don't know about that hurt you the most.
The Commonwealth Fund claims that there were around 30 million Americans who were contacted by collection agencies for unpaid medical bills in 2010 alone. What should you do if this problem happens to you? Start by reaching out to the hospital. You should talk to the billing department and make sure you have all the bills that you're expected to pay after you have a procedure or treatment. Taking this step can help make sure you don't miss a bill, which is the first step in protecting your credit. If you find that you can't pay your bill, reaching out to the hospital billing department can still be beneficial. This department knows about grants and payment plans that you can use to make sure you make your payments on time and protect your credit.
If the hospital is still pressuring you to pay more than you can afford, you can reach out to an attorney who is familiar with financial issues. This attorney is more likely to be able to help you negotiate with the hospital than if you try to do so alone.
Another thing you should do is to make sure you're not being charged more than once for the same procedure. Duplicate billing is an accident in most cases, but it's something that the patient is expected to catch. If you notice this or have been affected by medical bills in a negative way, there is help for you out there. Our website has more information on medical billing and debt and what you can do to resolve yours.