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What options to do you have for negotiating your medical debt?

Many healthcare providers in Salem and throughout the rest of the country may worry about getting paid for their services. The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals reports that as recently as 2012, American hospitals provided over $45 billion in care for which they were not compensated. Thus, when you are faced with outstanding medical debt, you may find that your doctor and/or the hospital or clinic where you were treated may be more willing to work with you than you realize.

Healthcare providers are paid by insurers at a discounted rate. This same willingness to negotiate for their reimbursement may also translate over to working with you directly. Here are some tips to help in negotiating with doctors and medical facilities to resolve your unpaid bills:

  •          Offer to pay in one lump sum at a discount: Often, doctors and hospitals may only be paid as little as 10-30 percent of the actual charges that appear on your bill. If you are to offer a one-time payment for around 25 percent of your total bill, many may be willing to take that.
  •          Negotiate a payment plan: Given the high price of health care, it may come as no surprise to your doctor that you cannot afford the total amount of your bill at once. Most may be willing to accept monthly payments for costly services.
  •          Seek financial assistance: You may find that at the time you received treatment, you were eligible for state or federal assistance. By working with your doctor’s office or clinic, you may be able to arrange coverage through either one of these programs and have it applied retroactively.

None of the information listed above should be taken as legal advice. It may, however, make resolving your medical debt somewhat simpler. 

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