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Recommended methods for managing medical debt

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Consumer bankruptcy |

The cost of most medical services in Tennessee far exceeds what the average person has the ability to pay. Health insurance often does not cover all expenses, which will leave you with medical debts. You are not alone in this situation. According to the National Consumer Law Center, over half of debts sent to collections and appearing on credit reports arise from medical bills. The following strategies may help you reduce your debts and prevent damage to your credit history.

Look closely at bills and explanation of benefits (EOB)

Your insurer will send an EOB that details what a medical provider charged and what the insurer covered. You should cross-reference this document with the bills that you receive. A bill showing that you owe more than what the EOB describes means that you should contact the medical provider and challenge the charges.

If a medical bill does not list the services you received, then you should ask for an itemized bill. Federal law requires that medical providers honor this request. In many cases, the itemized bill will be lower than the original bill.

Negotiate for a lower bill

If you can show that your bill exceeds what other places charge, you can offer to pay the lower amount. Many health companies accept these settlement offers. This tactic could reduce your expenses and spare you from having to file for bankruptcy.

Appeal bills that the insurer should pay

You do not have to take a health insurer’s denial of a covered charge as the last word on the matter. If you can show that the insurer should have paid for the service, file an appeal with the company. You may also inform the state’s insurance commissioner about your problem.