“Old medical bills plague many Americans, harming their credit scores and holding them hostage to collection agencies,” Reuters reports.
Medical-related debt makes up over half of all collections items listed on credit reports, according to the National Consumer Law Center. If you find yourself “confronted with a doubtful bill,” examine it carefully and “contact the insurance company first to make sure the charges are legit.”
If you need help, consider hiring an independent medical-billing advocate such as CoPatient.com. Some charge flat fees, but most work on contingency for a percentage of the amount they save you. If the bill is legitimate, you can try to negotiate the balance down with the provider’s office. Many providers are sensitive to keeping you as a customer and maintaining their reputation.
For more information on the issues surrounding medical debt, please contact RIP Medical Debt.