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4 Ways to Manage and Pay Off Medical Debt

Despite the best efforts to manage spending and minimize debt, a catastrophic medical event coupled with the limitations and required deductibles that accompany many health insurance plans can quickly lead to medical debt and financial demise.

According to CNN Health.com, more than 60% of people who go bankrupt have gotten to that point because of medical bills.

Though the costs of healthcare aren’t entirely within your control, there are steps you can take to minimize the financial ramifications of medical debt — and how much it ultimately costs.

1. Be on top of the medical debt paper trail

Tracking medical bills and insurance statements for accuracy can feel like a full-time job you’d rather not deal with, but the headache is worth the effort given the likelihood that you’re being billed inaccurately.

Up to 40% of claim statements passed between insurers and hospitals have errors. The key to catching them and avoiding medical debt is being proactive, and organized in how you review what you’re charged — and what your insurance covers.In his research, Stephen Parente, director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, found that up to 40% of claim statements passed between insurers and hospitals have errors.

The key to catching them and avoiding medical debt is being proactive, and organized in how you review what you’re charged — and what your insurance covers. Start a filing system that helps you stay on top of all medical paperwork, whether you an old fashioned binder, or technology tools like Simplee to track medical bills and help spot errors and inconsistencies in insurance coverage.

Review and retain all “explanation of benefits” statements, hospital and doctor bills, and record detailed notes pertaining to follow-up conversations you have regarding your medical bills, including the date and time of the conversation, and with whom you spoke.

About the author

Stephanie Taylor Christensen

Stephanie Taylor Christensen

Stephanie Taylor Christensen has more than a decade of experience in financial services marketing, and holds a Master of Science degree in Marketing. She writes on personal finance, small business and career news for clients like ForbesWoman, Real Simple, Mint, Intuit Small Business, Minyanville, and SheKnows. She is also the founder of “Wellness on Less” and “Om for Mom Prenatal Yoga” in Columbus, Ohio.

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