Following an accident or illness, the two questions foremost in many patients’ minds are, “When will I get better?” and “How am I going to pay for this?” Struggling with medical debt can seem like pain on top of pain, and financial advocates offer a few tips to avoid such debt. Patients in South Carolina have several options, including consulting a medical debt attorney.
Every patient has the right to know the cost of medical expenses ahead of time. In many cases, the billing office of the health care facility can provide an estimate of the cost of most procedures. With this information, a patient can consult other providers for a better rate, including various online services that list the prices for local providers.
When a bill arrives, patients should be aware that mistakes are common. Medical bills often do not include an itemized list, so identifying a mistake is difficult. A patient should not be timid about requesting itemized billing or asking a provider to negotiate on costs or terms of payment. Often, a medical provider will agree to accept payments or even settle for a lower amount.
These steps may help someone avoid unnecessary medical debt in the future, but those in South Carolina who already struggle to pay down hospital or doctor bills may need more immediate help. The stress of harassing medical creditors may delay a patient’s recovery or create additional health concerns. Seeking the advice of a medical debt attorney may help alleviate some of the stress. By consulting an attorney, those facing these issues can learn their options for having their debts discharged through bankruptcy, allowing them to recover their health more fully.
Source: USA Today, “3 medical debt mistakes to avoid”, Sean Pyles, Accessed on May 19, 2017