How Clearpoint Can Help with Medical Bills
One of the biggest threats to financial stability for American families and individuals is medical debt. High doctor bills can come out of nowhere as the result of an unexpected accident or illness. The financial burden of medical care can also be a daily problem for those with prescription medications or chronic conditions. Whether you’re insured or not, medical debt can pile up quickly, generally when you least expect it. Even insurance doesn’t cover as much as it used to, and healthcare costs have been rising faster than inflation.
Clearpoint had the privilege of working with the Kaiser Family Foundation on a recent medical study and found that even those with insurance are particularly vulnerable to medical costs. Here are some additional facts and statistics from the study:
Advice for Medical Debt
Now, what can you do to manage medical debt and be better prepared for future expenses? Here are some ideas and strategies to consider:
- Don’t pay medical bills with credit cards or loans. If you’re charged interest on overdue medical bills, it’s probably going to be much lower than credit card interest.
- Don’t put your home on the line. Your home is a valuable asset. Think very carefully before you attach unsecured medical debt to it.
- Protect the nest egg. Once you dip into retirement savings, it’s very difficult to restore them, and they represent your future. Make that an absolute last resort.
- Negotiate upfont. Communicate with your provider about your cost concerns. Compare prices with other clinics and use online resources like the Healthcare bluebook to ensure you pay a fair price. If you have cash available, consider paying a lump sum to get a discount.
- Review bills carefully. Get itemized copies of your bills and make sure you were charged accordingly.
- Ask your doctor or hospital about payment plans. Hospitals know the economic reality today. They would prefer that you’re paying something regularly, even a small amount, rather than default or go into bankruptcy. It never hurts to ask.
- Communicate your hardship. If you face a hardship or bill that’s too much to pay, you need to make this clear to the biller. Explain why this payment is a burden and see what accommodations they are willing to make.
Get help with medical debt
If you’re facing large medical bills, or if you’ve run up credit card debt paying them, turn to the professionals at a nonprofit credit counseling agency, like Clearpoint, for objective, seasoned advice. Credit card debt is eligible for a debt management plan (DMP), and Clearpoint can also provide help with medical bills via thorough budget counseling. Our counselors will show you where to cut costs and will teach you how to pay off debt in full.
Get started online or call 800.750.2227 (CCCS) to schedule a credit counseling session.
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