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Can I negotiate with the doctor on my medical bill?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2015 | Medical Debt

You try to be conscientious when it comes to your spending habits, but now you are facing an unexpected medical bill. Before you begin to panic, you should know that it may be possible for you to negotiate with your doctor on that balance owed.

According to Kaiser Health News, there are a couple of approaches you can take so that your finances don’t take a nosedive. One method is to look at the price that Medicare would pay and then ask your doctor if he or she would be willing to accept the same amount. As a federally funded program, Medicare gets a much better deal on medical services than people with private insurance coverage do. If the doctor or hospital is willing to charge you the lower rate, it will be less intrusive on your bank account.

Another approach is to simply be honest with your doctor or the hospital about the state of your finances. If you know you won’t be able to pay for the procedure or care you need, you should tell them so up front. While hospitals and medical professionals seem unapproachable, there are many who will work with you if you are unable to pay. Some facilities even can point you to a program that can help you.

For dental care, there is a special credit card that you can apply for and then pay off over time, if you quality for it. Some medical providers might have a payment plan that you can take advantage of, with a low interest rate and a long-term repayment schedule. In other circumstances, hospitals may simply try to collect from you and then eventually move the balance owed to something called charity care, which is reported at the end of the year by hospitals, and is considered tax deductible. The information presented in this post is only intended for educational purposes and is not to be considered legal counsel. 


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