How To Negotiate Medical Bills
Need to know how to negotiate medical bills? Medical bills have become over the top and too much to handle. As much as people try to avoid medical expenses, sometimes it's impossible. This is why it is so important to understand and learn how to negotiate medical bills. You can actually haggle with your medical bills and expenses just like everything else. It's possible to do, but you need to know the right way to do it.
- Do some research. If you try to negotiate medical bills without knowing exactly what you are talking about - it will be pointless. Under the new Fair Debt Collection Act, it requires collectors to treat you fairly and prohibits certain methods of collecting money from you. Yes, that is right. There is actually an understood law now to prohibit these collectors from harassing and verbally abusing you. This means, if the debt collector is calling more than once a day, or verbally accusing you of having the money and not paying it, you can turn them in. Every phone is recorded and can be found at a later date, if needed.
- Check your medical expenses. Pull out every single piece of paper you have on your medical expenses. Read over every bill and check to see exactly how much your medical expenses are to date. Also look at the estimated payment range. Sometimes, collectors will trick you into thinking that your monthly payments are higher than they should be only because you are not sure of the actual amount due. This way, they get the money faster. Also make sure that all the charges made to your name, are the actual actions taken. Make sure the collectors are not charging you for medical expenses that never happened. If you are not sure, or the actions are not listed, ask for an itemized list from your local hospital or doctor's office.
- Explanations go a long way. Instead of yelling at the first customer representative that speaks to you - try it from more stubble approach. Do not take aggressions out on the wrong people. If the customer representative cannot answer your questions, ask to be forwarded to someone who can explain it better. Instead of being defensive and refusing to pay right now, you need to explain, in detail, exactly what your situation is. Explain the reason for non-payment or late payments. Explain your employment situation as well as your actually health issues. In many cases, they will understand and offer to make reasonable arrangements.
- Have proof. After you have explained to the collectors the reasons why the medical expenses are just too high, you need to back it up with proof. Make copies of your pay stubs of your proof of income, make copies of your actual monthly bills, and other life expenses and send it to them.
- Document Facts. Do not loose contact of the collector you spoke with, and keep them in mind. Record the date and time you spoke with them, as well as each name of the collectors that you speak with. This helps for factual references. Sometimes, in big debt collecting companies, lines get crossed. Say one representative agreed on monthly payments that you can afford, and then another one calls and has no record. This way, they can look back at previous conversations and documents, because all of them are recorded.
- Get a statement on paper. After you have talked with the collectors and they have decided on monthly payments you can afford, make sure they send you this statement signed by the collector on paper. If you contact them on the phone, ask for a written statement sent to your home or e-mail. This is the only way to ensure your safety and facts for later dates. Once that collector has signed a statement with the monthly payments you have agreed on and sent it to you, there is no way they can go back on their word.
In most cases, all collectors want to work with you. When you don't pay, they don't receive money. These companies would rather you make a payment rather than having it left in the wind. The process just takes time, patience, and good record keeping.