Like others in Tennessee, and elsewhere, you may have struggled to pay your medical bills. As of 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 10 families had medical debts that they were unable to pay. While an unexpected medical condition or injury may lead to unforeseen expenses, there are steps that people can take to help ease the financial burdens of medical care.
One of the most important things you can do to limit your medical debts is to read and understand your insurance policy. There are some charges, or portions of charges, which you might be responsible for. Other charges may be completely covered, or not covered, by your insurance carrier. When you receive invoices for your medical treatments, you should check them against your explanation of benefits from your insurer. This way, you can ensure there are not any charges that you should not be liable for.
Often, medical debts result from, or are made worse by, billing issues. These may include being double-billed for a treatment or charged for services you did not receive. However, by checking your medical invoices carefully, you may identify errors or discrepancies. If you have questions about a charge, it is advisable to call and discuss them with your provider’s billing department. They may be able to determine where the problem occurred, and adjust your bill.
Lack of insurance coverage, an unexpected medical condition and any other number of factors may result in overwhelming medical debts. If you are not able to pay off your entire balance when it comes due, you may consider talking to someone in your physician’s billing office. In some cases, you may be able to work out a payment plan, which will enable you to pay down your debt over time while avoiding past due fees.
If your medical debts become overwhelming, you may consider other debt relief options, such as filing for bankruptcy protection. While this post has provided an overview of how you might limit your medical financial burdens, it is important to keep in mind that each case is unique. Therefore, this post should be taken only as general information, and not as legal advice.