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The Internet may help to reduce unmanageable medical debt

It is reported that a third of American adults have unpaid medical debts that are causing financial anxiety. Michigan residents who are desperate to find a way to manage medical debt may find comfort in knowing that there are ways to go about obtaining possible reduction in charges or extended payment periods. It is interesting to note that it is not only uninsured people experiencing overwhelming medical debt, but also those who have medical insurance.

Armed with a detailed statement of medical service charges, a person can set about checking each charge individually. The availability of the Internet is a great help, and fair prices for most treatments and procedures can be researched. A patient may want to compare the charges on his or her statement with the reimbursement that medical insurers would pay for the same services. It is also important to control the individual charges on the bill with treatment and services that were actually provided. It is not uncommon for a facility’s billing department to, for instance, erroneously charge for medication that was administered three times a day, while, in fact, it was only done once a day.

After proper control of the account, one can consult with the billing department of the institution to rectify the errors, and there is nothing wrong with negotiating an extended payment period. Another option is to offer a settlement amount that is lower than the amount on the statement. Medical facilities may prefer to accept a lower one-time payment to small amounts over a long period.

Michigan residents who find the process intimidating need not tackle it alone. Professional help is available, and in cases where a mountain of medical debt has become totally overwhelming, they may also be assisted in assessing whether personal bankruptcy might be an option to consider. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will discharge certain unsecured debts while liquidating some assets to pay creditors, while Chapter 13 may afford individuals with a regular income a court-approved extended payment plan of up to five years to settle debts. Regardless of which option is selected, a stable financial future may be on the horizon.

Source: wfmynews2.com, "Medical Debt: How To Manage It & Ways To Negotiate Your Bill", , July 16, 2014

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