Medical debt is the balance that is unpaid to the healthcare services within the due date. This is common in the United States and according a study, 56% of citizens in the US have faced financial trouble due to medical bills. A consumer report says almost 30% of the debts are sent to the medical collection services.
When you are unable to pay the bill, there are many possible things to happen. If you ignore the bill, the doctor will follow up for collecting the bill. If their attempts fail, hiring a debt collection agency is the last resort.
How Does Medical Debts Happen?
Considering the higher medical costs in the United States, the medical debts are quite common. Other than asking how does medical debts happen in United States you should ask how it does not happen. The healthcare industry in the US including pharmacy, doctors, hospitals, and others are enough expensive to lead a patient to medical debts. When you have medical insurance and you know how to make best use of it, you may escape from falling in medical debt trap.
You always seek for in-network doctors to treat your conditions other than emergency. In an emergency, like an accident you would not be in a position to look for in-network doctors. It may cause a huge medical bill for you.
What Happens with Unpaid Medical Bills?
After a certain nonpayment period, the creditors will take certain actions regarding the unpaid bill. They are most likely to sell off the debt to a third-party collection agency who work for debt recouping. It completely depends on the location, the healthcare provider and provided service. Then it will be decided when the unpaid bill will go to the collection service.
Once the debt is transferred to a collection agency, be ready to face calls, and demand letters. When you have a bill transferred to a collection agency, it is likely to affect your credit score.
Ignoring the medical and hospital bills will not make them go away on their own. The biggest threat of ignoring medical bills is a lawsuit filed against you. If you keep on ignoring the lawsuit also the court will judge in favor of the creditor. It is considered as an automatic win.
When you have medical bills and you are dealing with medical debt collections, there are certain things you should remember. The collectors cannot harass you, lie to you, make false threatening statements or call you in odd hours. You can ask for time to confirm the debt is yours, take time to negotiate with the bill or ask for an affordable payment plan or a waiver.
Check for Errors in Medical Bills
Confirm that the received the medical bill is correct and there no additional cost added. When you have a medical bill, you can rightfully ask for an itemized bill, amount break up to cross check unnecessary bills, double charging and fees. To remove such charges from the bill, you can ask the service provider for 30 days to hold the bills.
If you find that the insurance company has not covered everything that they were supposed to, certainly you should make calls until that is resolved.
You must compare the itemized bill along with the insurance benefit explanation and assure everything is covered that were told. If not, you should talk to your insurance agent to put an end to such jargon. Sometimes agents can explain well what is paid and how. If you still have a few confusions regarding the bill, compare the bill with the medical record to assure that the services you received are properly enlisted without any additional mentioning.
Bring any errors or discrepancies to the attention of your health care provider or insurer to get them removed and have your medical bill reduced. Medical billing errors are surprisingly common. Mistakes can include double-billing, when a patient is charged more than once for the same item, procedure or service, and charges for items, such as routine supplies, that shouldn’t be on the bill. Hiring a patient advocate can also help you through this process if you’re finding it tough to navigate solo. For a medical billing advocate, expect to pay an hourly rate or sacrifice a percentage of savings.
If there are errors or discrepancies in the medical bill, bring your health care provider’s attention there to reduce all those extra charges. Errors in medical bills are quite common and you can hire an attorney if reducing those extra charges alone seems tough to you.
We are, at Vital Solutions work as third-party medical debt collection agency. We abide by all the regulations and rules outlined the government and never abuse, lie or threaten the debtors. If you owe money of medical bills, contact us to make it clear from debtors as we try to do it in the most subtle way without hampering your customer base.