Some people do not think that healthcare is getting expensive, maybe they should try spending a few nights in the hospital. Those who have spent four days in a hospital have had a bill that was about $36,000. Minor procedures, where a hospital stay is not needed, can cost about $6,000. Many healthcare insurance companies will cover a majority of the costs, but for those who do not have insurance it can be very expensive to stay in a hospital or have a minor procedure done and they will have to pay the big medical bills afterwards. Some medical insurance companies will pay as much as $35,400 of the $36,000 leaving a person to pay only $600.
Check Your Bill
No matter if you have medical insurance or you do not, when you receive your medical bill you should always do the following:
- Go over each line of the medical bill.
- Make sure you are not being charged for services you did not receive.
- Look for things like a MRI or CAT scan; you can probably skip over the minor charge.
- Mark any services that you do not remember receiving with an x for future reference.
The above list is especially important when you are receiving big medical bills that are not easy to pay when you have no health insurance.
In the case that you have health insurance, all that is needed now is the waiting to find out how much of the $36,000 the insurance company is going to pay. Sometimes the out of pocket cost will surprise a person, it could be next to nothing. With any health insurance policy, it is very beneficial to you to read the policy carefully so that you know what costs are covered or not and any co-pays you have to make. This is a way to know whether the insurance company is being fair with you. If you feel that the insurance company is not being fair or you disagree with the co-pay on your coverage, you will need to meet with someone to get these issues resolved.
No Health Insurance
If you have received big medical bills and you do not have any health insurance, you will need to meet with the company or doctor that sent you the bill. When you review your medical bill and if you find errors, you need to bring it to attention and ask them to delete the errors.
Paying the Bill
There are several options in dealing with big medical bills and they are the following:
Try to get a settlement: Some healthcare providers inflate their charges because they do not think that they will get the full amount of the bill. This inflation is often a multiple of 3x or 4x the amount of the actual bill. This might mean that you could pay as little as $9,000 for a bill instead of $36,000.
Payment plan: Many places will work with people who cannot afford to pay their big medical bills immediately. You can ask to have the bill payments spread over a few years to make it a bit easier to pay. There may be some interest added on to this bill because of this payment plan.
Credit Card: Another option is to pay with the credit card, if your limit is high. If you do not then you could use two or more cards to pay the bill, that way you could pay the big medical bills right away and pay the credit cards at your own pace.
Bankruptcy: Big medical bills are one reason why people file for bankruptcy now a days. If you do not have insurance and you cannot afford to pay the bill, you can apply for a bankruptcy. A bankruptcy would discharge you from unsecured debts, which are any loans, bills, or credit card balances; this can take about 6 months and will cost anywhere from as little as $500. Filing for bankruptcy will however have a negative affect your credit score.
Debt settlement: Another way of dealing with big medical bills is using a debt councilor to negotiate a settlement with the creditors. A debt councilor can usually save their clients a lot of money through negotiating a settlement. A debt settlement will not change your credit score as much as filing for bankruptcy. A debt settlement is an easier and respectable way to pay your debts compared to bankruptcy, where you are, in lament terms, just not giving the money to the people who you owe a debt to. A debt councilor will help you work out a payment schedule; also, they will help you figure out how to pay your bills and work out a budget so you can get the necessities as well.