More than a few in Salem have come to us here at the Law Office of Paul Petrillo facing mounting medical debts. If you happen to fall into this group, you may also be wondering how to deal with the confusion caused by medical bills. The process of medical claims payment involves a complex series of steps and requires review by multiple parties. Any breakdown along that chain of events can result in claim denials, late fees being assessed and even accounts being reported to your credit.

A report compiled in December of 2014 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau puts a spotlight on the problems that exist with reporting medical debts to credit bureaus. Their information shows the following issues with communications between patients and their providers and/or insurance companies:

  •          20.1 percent of those who had filed claims with CFPB over medical debts on their credit reports thought that the claim had already been paid.
  •          14.5 percent believed that they never received enough information to verify the validity of the debt.
  •          7.6 believed that the amount reported was incorrect.

If you have insurance, your carrier is required to provide you with an Explanation of Benefits statement that outlines what services were billed for, as well as what they covered and what you may still owe in out-of-pocket or out-of-network expenses. Questions regarding your EOB should first be directed to them. They should be able to give you a detailed explanation of what was paid, along with what wasn’t and why. That information can then be taken to your provider to validate any outstanding amounts. This may help give you a better idea of what sort of assistance you’ll need in settling your expenses.

For further information on understanding medical debt, browse through our website.