Money Monday: Negotiating medical debt - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Money Monday: Negotiating medical debt

(KFVS) - Medical debt is the single biggest reason people file for personal bankruptcy, but it's possible to lower your medical debt through negotiating.

In a perfect world, financial experts say do your negotiating before a medical procedure.

This means you have to be honest about your financial situation and go into that discussion armed with an understanding of what the procedure should cost.

Knowing the “reasonable customary charge” gives you a starting point.

You can find those charges for a range of procedures at fairhealthconsumer.org.

You can also see what different providers charge in your area at healthcarebluebook.com.

But if you don't get a chance to negotiate beforehand, you may still be able to get a break.

Make sure you have an itemized bill, and that there aren't any errors in it.

Then ask your provider about financial assistance programs, or even a payment plan.

Many will also give you a discount if you pay cash.

And if you really get stuck, there are professional billing advocates you can hire to help with the negotiations.


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