Hospital gowns, painful shots, and low temperatures in the doctor’s examination room are not the worst part to get medical treatment.
Receiving a hefty medical bill after a doctor and hospital visit may be a particularly bitter pill to swallow.
Furthermore, to depleting your bank account, medical bills can affect your credit if you do not pay them on time. The key to curing the issue is to take action immediately. Here is what you need to know to prevent medical bills from hurting your credit score.
Do Medical Bills Affect Your Credit?
Easily receiving a medical bill does not affect your credit score, obviously. Neither does paying the bill some days late. Medical bills affect your credit score if a collection agency gets included. If you do not pay your bill and it becomes importantly past due, your health care provider can give up on collecting the debt from you as well as sell it to a collection agency. The collection agency then takes over the debt and begins contacting you to get payment. When exactly is a bill past due? Every health care office of the provider has its own practices. Usually, providers wait 3 months before turning your medical debt over to collections. However, few providers will wait 180 days, while others will wait 60 days. To standardize medical debt reporting and protect the credit reports of customers from being excessively affected by medical debt, the 3 key credit bureaus employ a 180-day waiting period before medical debt seems in your credit history. This 180-days period can give you ample time to correct any errors on the bill, pay your bill, and get the insurance company to pay it, figure out a payment plan or otherwise resolve the issue. By taking the proper action in these 180 days, medical bills can’t hurt your credit score.
When Medical Bills Do Not Matter?
The great news is that medical bills don’t have to spell trouble for your credit reports & scores. The myth about medical bills will damage the credit scores automatically is still a myth. Actually, it’s an unpaid medical debt that usually leads to credit issues in the form of collection accounts as well as potential court judgments. If you have outstanding medical debt that isn’t being paid in full by your insurance provider. The 1st step you should likely take is to give your medical service provider a call. Actually, even if you’ve health insurance, it is important to make sure that you aren’t responsible for any co-pays or deductibles. If you find yourself holding the check for any uncovered medical debt, keep in mind, several medical providers are willing to set up affordable payment plans. A payment plan is accepted by the medical provider and you can keep your unpaid medical debt from turning into upsetting medical collections as long as you hold up the end of the payment agreement.
How to Keep your Medical Bills off the Credit Report?
The good news is, in most situations, small care, knowledge and organization can keep your medical bills from going to collections. Take these steps when you are planning any doctor visit and medical process. Know what for expecting. Get familiar with your health insurance strategy so you know what it covers, what it does not, and what your copay will be for a visit and process. Armed with this info, you are less probably to make expensive mistakes like visiting an out-of-network doctor or not asking for a generic version of a prescription drug. If you do not have health insurance and your insurance does not cover the visit or process, find out ahead of time how much you can expect for being charged. It is a better time to determine if the health care provider offers any payment plans or accepts medical credit cards. Keep track of your medical bills. Make it a habit to read any letters, emails, and other communications from your health care provider as soon as you receive them. That way, you will catch mistakes rapidly and can contact the provider to iron out any issues right away. If you recently had a process or visited a doctor and have not received a bill, contact the health care provider to ensure they’ve your correct address and that you did not miss a bill. Do you receive bills by email? Ensure to add your providers to your email address book so their messages do not get lost in your junk and spam folders.
Make sure the charges are accurate
Medical offices as well as insurers make mistakes. Simple human errors like miscoding a medical procedure can result in incorrect charges. You should review each medical bill with great care and compare it against the insurance company’s benefits to check if you are getting charged the right amount. If not, contact the health care billing office of provider, your health insurance company, or both to allow them to know. After a hospital stay and complex procedure, ask for an itemized bill so you can check exact charges for accuracy. What if you have done all of the above and yet end up with a medical bill you cannot pay? Do not panic: There are some options, can help you keep the bill from going to collections. Try for negotiating your medical bills. The good time to negotiate medical prices is before your treatment or procedure, but you can try to do so afterward. Few health care providers charge low rates for patients who do not have health insurance and are paying out of pocket. Some websites allow you to research the average price of specific procedures in your area. You can use the info to select care providers and as leverage to negotiate low prices.
Work out a repayment plan
What if your health care bill is as low as it is going to get, but it is yet more than you can pay? See if you can set up a monthly payment strategy with the provider. Several providers will rather work with you than send the bill to collections. Contacting your health care provider’s billing office instantly to discuss repayment will show you are acting in the best faith.