Health care doesn’t come cheap these days and a stack of medical bills can spell financial disaster if you’re not prepared to deal with them. While outstanding medical debt doesn’t carry the same weight on your credit report as other types of debt, it’s still not something you want to let linger.
Settling up with your health care providers is a must but you shouldn’t start writing checks without having a plan in place. Certain payoff strategies are better than others and we’ve got the scoop on the best and worst things you can do when dealing with medical bills.
1. Haggle Your Way to Savings
When you’re facing a huge doctor bill the very worst thing you can do is just accept it at face value. If you automatically agree to pay exactly what the bill says you owe, you could be doing yourself a major disservice.
The first thing you need to do is to review it carefully for errors. It’s not at all uncommon for hospitals or doctors’ offices to make mistakes and overcharge you for something. If you see a duplicate item on your bill or a charge that seems unusually high, you shouldn’t waste any time in calling your health care provider up to investigate further.
While you’ve got them on the line, you can hone your negotiation skills by asking them to remove certain charges or reduce the overall balance. If you’ve got some cash saved up, for instance, your doctor may be willing to let you settle the bill for less if you agree to pay the remaining balance off in one go.