Emergency situations and surgeries can mean that you end up owing thousands of dollars in “surprise” medical bills and that can even be when you have insurance. That is just not the kind of cash that most of us having lying around – not even the most frugal of us. And when you take into consideration that some people don’t actually have health insurance, their costs can quickly reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, with some cases actually making their way to $100,000 and beyond. Yes, you read that right, that’s 5 zeros.
However, there is kind of a little bit of hope out there for those of you who might get hit with some insanity like this – but it takes some work in most cases. As reported by The Atlantic, some local governments like New York are starting to jump in and save people from tremendous bills like these. So for millions of Americans out there, there’s actually some light at the end of that medical tunnel, but does that mean you don’t have to pay your bill?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but just because a medical bill is outlandishly high and you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay it. However, there are a few steps that you should be taking to try to get it as low as possible and maybe even get it wiped out entirely.
If You Have Insurance:
- Immediately contact your insurance provider (if you have insurance) and request that the bill be paid. If they deny you, request that they send the reason for denial in writing.
- Use ConsumersUnion’s Insurance Complaint Tool to, well, file a complaint about the insurance company.
- If things get dicey, you may have to defend yourself in court.
- CONTACT THE HOSPITAL! If you ignore their bills and pleas for money, you’re going to end up in court and likely have your paychecks or payments from the government up to 25 percent.
- Stay in contact with the hospital, even if they seem unreasonable.
- You may have to consider filing for bankruptcy if the hospital isn’t giving you any kind of leeway. You have a few options here, which we will be discussing in a future article titled “Bankruptcy or Garnishment: What’s Your Best Bet?”
In Any Situation
You’re in a tough spot, especially if you live in a state without any kind of medical debt forgiveness. However, always attempt to contact any government agencies that have to do with medicine, insurance or consumer protection. Somewhere along the way you might just strike that proverbial gold.