Not only must you receive medical treatment for the harm you suffered in a personal injury, but you must also navigate high health care costs. Even if you have a legal case against the at-fault party, you must pay your bills now.
NPR offers suggestions for responding to medical debt. While waiting to see what you may collect in damages, understand how to limit the financial damage caused by medical debt.
Ask for help sooner rather than later
Try not to wait too long to seek help for medical debt. Contact the health care facility treating you to see if they offer patients financial assistance. Depending on your income, you may only pay 50% of your bill or have it wiped out entirely. If you do not qualify for financial help, see if you may negotiate a lower bill. Even if you have the financial means to pay a bill in full, it does not hurt to try to save some money however you can.
Do not give up
Do not take “no” for an answer. It could take months to work out a deal, but you may come out on top in the end.
Pay the insurance rate
When you see a charge on your hospital bill, that could be the “chargemaster” rate, which is often much more than insurance companies pay. If you do not have health insurance, or if your provider does not cover a specific procedure or treatment, you may receive the “sticker price.” Contact the hospital billing department and tell them you cannot pay the full amount, then ask for the lower price.
Personal injury victims should not suffer for another person’s negligence. Getting reduced medical bills may relieve a lot of stress about your legal situation.