Medical Debt Attorney
Paying off your medical debt is very different from paying off other types of debt, like credit cards and loans. There is usually much more room to negotiate the repayment terms or even decrease the total amount that you owe with a medical debt attorney.
We recommend starting the process by reviewing your medical bill and comparing it to your explanation of benefits if you have medical insurance. You obviously need to determine what you are expected to pay, but you don’t need to take your medical bill at face value. Instead, you should attempt to negotiate the cost of your medical bill first.
We recommend being as upfront as possible about what you are able to pay when you are working with your healthcare provider. If you don’t have any medical insurance, you will probably be charged more than someone with insurance, and knowing about this price disparity can offer you some leverage.
Debt solutions related to medical debt with a medical debt attorney
Here are some of the debt solutions related to medical debt with a medical debt attorney that we recommend:
Most medical providers, including hospitals, dentists, and doctors, can work with you to create a payment plan for your medical bills. This is one of the best options for resolving a medical bill that you can’t afford to pay in one simple payment.
The minimum amount that you are able to pay on your payment plan depends on the terms you negotiate as well as the medical bill amount. You will typically break down the bill into multiple equal amounts over the course of a few months until you pay off the total amount. We recommend asking if there are any billing charges or additional fees related to the payment plan, so you can determine if it’s the right option for you.
Medical credit cards
If your medical provider doesn’t take any payment plans, keep in mind that they might accept medical credit cards. These credit cards are usually meant for particular medical procedures or treatments, and many medical offices have medical credit card applications on hand.
These medical credit cards usually have an interest-free period of about six to 12 months. We recommend doing some math to figure out if you are able to pay off your medical debt within the interest-free time period.
If you are unable to pay off the medical debt in that time period, you might be hit within a deferred interest rate that makes your medical debt prohibitively expensive. That’s why it’s so important to know what additional costs you might face if you are met with that deferred interest to determine if the medical credit card is the best option for you.
Unsecured credit options
Here are a couple of unsecured credit options that we recommend:
- Personal loans. A medical loan for healthcare expensives can be a great option to help you pay for emergency or planned medical procedures or to simply consolidate your medical expenses. We recommend getting a personal loan only after you have exhausted all of your other options, including a medical credit card and a payment plan. Personal loan amounts range from $1,000 to $100,000, so they can be an excellent option for large amounts of medical debt. It’s crucial that you shop around to compare repayment terms, fees, and rates.
- 0 percent interest credit card. A 0 percent interest credit card is also an excellent option if you are not eligible for a medical credit card or a pyment plan. You do need good to excellent credit to qualify for a 0 percent interest credit card though. Make sure to pay off your medical debt balance before the promotional interest period ends and the interest rate begins.
Medical bill advocate
If you had an intensive medical procedure or an extended stay in a hospital, you are probably facing a huge amount of medical debt, especially if you don’t have health insurance. In this case, we recommend hiring a medical bill advocate to negotiate your medical bills on your behalf.
These advocates have expert knowledge in medical billing, meaning that they understand the most common costs for procedures and know how to read healthcare bills. They can also spot any possible medical errors or overcharging and help you decrease the amount of medical debt that you owe. It’s important that you make sure any fees charged by a medical bill advocate would be outweighed by the potential savings before you sign up for this plan.
Income-driven hardship plan
If you have fairly low income and high medical bills, you might be eligible for an income-driven hardship plan. The income-driven hardship plan is similar to a standard payment plan and helps break up the total amount of money you owe into more regular and manageable payments.
You are typically able to decrease the amount of money you owe with an income-driven hardship plan. We recommend speaking with your healthcare provider to see if they offer this type of plan. Keep in mind that you might need to apply for Medicaid before becoming eligible for the income-driven hardship plan.
Negotiating costs on your own
If you think that you might be able to take on the work of a medical bill advocate or you have medical bills in collections, you might be able to negotiate down the costs of your medical bills on your own. Keep in mind that debt collectors typically buy debts for pennies on the dollar for medical bills in collections, which gives you a lot of leverage to negotiate down the costs of your medical bills.
If you think that you can negotiate or haggle with your healthcare provider, you might be able to take on the work of a medical bill advocate on your own. Simply look through your medical bills and see if you can spot any charges that seem too high or wrong. You might be able to pair this negotiation process with another payment method.
We recommend speaking to a medical debt attorney at the Van Horn Law Group to learn more about debt solutions related to medical debt.
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