When you have debt, it can feel oppressive not only to your finances, but also to your life in general. Especially if you’ve had to incur this debt not on your own choices, like if you got injured and then had to get lots of medical charges, it can be very difficult to overcome this debt and find a way to pay these bills. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help make paying off these bills a little easier. To show you how, here are three tips for paying off large medical bills.
Try To Negotiate
Once you’ve received your bill, there are some things you should try before you just start paying on it. According to Connie Prater, a contributor to CreditCards.com, the first thing you should do is call the medical office billing department to speak to someone about potential negotiations. Almost every medical charge can be negotiated in one way or another, so it’s up to you to take advantage of this opportunity. While you may not be able to get the entire bill negotiated down super significantly, you may be able to get them to reduce some fees or forgive some interest charges if you’re able to come up with a good plan for repayment together.
Set Up A Payment Plan
After you have the final amount that you’ll have to pay for your medical bills, you still may not be able to pay the entire bill in one payment. When this happens, you should talk to the billing department about setting up some kind of payment plan. According to Sean Pyles, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, you should ask the billing department when interest will start to accrue on the charges. If you can get interest-free payments for a few months or even a year, that might be a good payment plan to accept so you can have the time you need to pay off the debt without bringing on any extra finance charges.
Seek Additional Assistance
If you simply can’t pay off the entire bill and can’t afford to make monthly payments consistently either, you may not be making enough money to even have to shoulder the majority of your medical bill in the first place. According to Abby Hayes, a contributor to U.S. News and World Report, there are many charities that seek to help those who can’t afford medical bills. And in some situations, government assistance programs like Medicaid will handle back payments on medical bills that you can’t afford even if you weren’t on that insurance when you got the treatment you needed.
If you have medical bills that you’re having trouble paying off, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you get this debt paid down.