The Blog Of TL Wall Accounting

4 Ways To Handle Hospital Bills

By now everyone knows that there’s a national health care policy being implemented at some point in 2014. Most people also know that it’s either mandatory for those without coverage to buy insurance or pay a tax of some amount because you decided against it.

Even though the amount you’d have to pay is tiny and fairly negligible, the truth is that medical bills can be higher than you’d expect, and sometimes they’re so high that it’s difficult to address them and still keep up with all your other bills.

However, there are many things you can do to help yourself take care of your medical bills. Just like taxes, there’s always things you can do to help yourself out, and there are people waiting to help you out. Here are 4 things you can do when you have to deal with hospital bills.

1. Make some kind of payment. Here’s a truth most hospitals don’t want you to know. Most computer systems can’t tell the difference between a payment of $500 and a payment of $20. If you make a payment, the majority of hospital computer systems will reset themselves to the beginning and you’ll continue to get 90 days to make a payment. This isn’t every hospital mind you, and if you owe more than $10,000 it’s possible that someone will be looking at your bill, but for the most part a payment of some kind buys you time.

2. Pick up the phone and set up a payment arrangement. Most people try to hide from bill collectors but it doesn’t work all that well. It’s better to try to work with the people at the hospital rather than waiting for your bill to go to collections and have it hit your credit report.

3. Try to see if you qualify for a discount of services. Hospitals call it charity care, and if your income isn’t all that great or you have dependents that you also have to take care of you might qualify for some kind of discount, including a full adjustment off of your entire bill. In some states you might have to apply for and be turned down for Medicaid first but all that does is takes a minor hit on your pride. Any kind of discount on your hospital bill is a good thing.

4. If all you need is a little bit more time, you can always ask for a copy of your full itemized bill, as well as an explanation of what the charges you received are for. Unfortunately, without a health care background much of what you’ll be told won’t help you, but you’ll buy anywhere from 14 to 30 days because collection efforts have to be put on hold until you get what you’ve requested and then you automatically get 10 days to address things.
 

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