Medical debt is one the largest contributors to Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies in the United States. Even though new studies are beginning to emerge that claim the new health insurance laws are cutting down on debt for low-income individuals, a medical bill from an unforeseen accident or catastrophe still has the ability to cause severe financial distress. Financial problems from medical debt can lead to altered financial realities such as losing your car, falling behind on rent, being passed over for a job, or even losing the ability get a new cell phone contract.
With this in mind, we found one smart way to lower your medical debt, and it’s pretty simple and easy for anyone to do: look over your medical bills with a fine tooth comb. If you think this seems like frivolous waste of time, you may also be surprised to know that the Department of Health and Human Services reported Medicare overpayments of $36 billion in 2013 alone. The problem surrounding this medical debt issue is that billing systems at hospitals and doctor’s offices are filled with errors.
To learn how to spot errors on your medical bills you should first be familiar with your health insurance explanation of benefits or EOB, as some billing errors can stem from coverage denials. Secondly, if you receive a statement with only a final amount, contact your health care provider and ask for an itemized bill. With your benefits explanation and itemized bill you can check for things like:
- Ensuring your information is correct
- All medications listed on the bill are correct
- Services that you didn’t receive
- Accurate Surgery times
- Mistaken Room Charges
- Duplicate items
Checking your medical bill for inaccuracies is just one way to avoid incurring medical debt unnecessarily. With this detailed looking into your medical bills, you’ll be potentially saving yourself money, without paying a dime.
Medical debt forces many people to alter their lifestyles, and if you have recently been hit with a large amount of medical debt that you don’t think you’ll be able to pay, you should look into filing bankruptcy as a debt relief option. Bring your medical bills and statements to your bankruptcy attorney in Houston and ask if bankruptcy is the right option to gain freedom from your debt.