Medical bills can be the worst. I mean, not only do you have this unplanned expense/debt, but you’re now dealing with whatever it is it that took you to the hospital in the first place. So it makes sense that we don’t like them and would probably do just about anything to get a little break on how much money comes out of our pocket.
Can you negotiate a medical bill?
You can actually negotiate a medical bill. I say that loosely, because the most you’ll be able to do is ask for a discount. It’ll be up to the Doctor’s office to determine what they are willing to do for you in this situation.
The important thing to remember when asking for a discount on your medical bill is make sure you have money in hand to pay for your bill. These Doctor’s are motivated by having bills paid sooner, rather than later.
Your conversation with them over the phone might go something like: “If I pay this in full is there any kind of a discount you could apply?” And the response…”Uhhh,,, SURE! How about 20%?”
Depending on the size of your medical bill, that could be a serious chunk of change!
Can I use my credit card to pay my medical bills?
I would say that this depends. If you have money on hand to pay for all your medical bills, then I would say, “Yes! Use a credit card.” Because before the month is over, you’ll have paid off your credit card with the money you had saved or had on had to pay it off right away.
An added bonus is that not only did you get a discount for paying off the medical debt early and in full, you’ll now have a bunch of credit card points you can redeem for Christmas gifts or whatever strikes your fancy. 🙂
If don’t have the money readily available – DO NOT pay off your medial debt with a credit card. The interest rates on your credit cards will make it that much harder to pay it off. Simply opt for the payment plans offered to you.
Will medical bills hurt my credit score?
No, paying on medical bills will not hurt your credit score because they are not reported like other debt is. However, choosing to not pay your medical bills will result in negative consequences. If your bill goes unpaid, the hospital will send your debt to a collection agency. That agency will report your debt to the credit bureaus and your credit will start to suffer. Not mention that collection agencies are allowed to chase you for up to 7 years in most states.
No one needs that kind of harassment.
What if I am unable to pay for my medical bills?
The best, and honest, way to approach this situation is to call the hospital and let them know of your predicament. They might have programs you can take advantage of to pay for your medical bills entirely, or significant portion of them.
You can also look into starting up a GoFundMe account and raise some extra cash that way. Just be sure to have a compelling story people can relate to. 🙂