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Medical bills

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Today I received the bill for my biceps repair surgery. The total was $18,000. My share, after insurance paid its share, is $3,700.
    I'm going to call them tomorrow to work out some sort of payment plan. Realistically, I think I could pay it off in 18-24 months. Is that likely to be acceptable with them and what sort of interest might a hospital charge?
     
  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    A lot of this depends on whether or not the hospital is for-profit or a non-profit.

    If this healthcare organization has any scruples, it will have a finance department. In some places, they can offer short-term payments - sometimes in the 4-6 month range - interest-free. Almost anything long-term is going to be interest-bearing (check the rate, though ... some people have credit cards with APRs better than the healthcare institution's rate). The non-profits usually go through banks because doing anything implies that the non-profit institution is acting like a bank loaning money, which is a no-no with the government.

    Check the healthcare organization's phone listing to see if they have a financial assistance department, phone it ASAP and see what can be done. Running away from it or thinking it will simply go away is NEVER the answer.

    Good luck.
     
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    They will take whatever they can get. My brother-in-law's Mom had to pay for gall bladder surgery basically out of her pocket. She gives the hospital like $30 a month. Knock on wood she'll live another 30 years, but regardless, when she goes, guess who inherits that bill?

    Oh and knowing smallpotatoes' luck, I half-expect to read this tomorrow:

    The lady I talked to today is the mother of a field hockey player whose name I once misspelled in the paper. She said I have to pay it all at once or else the fees will be quintupled.
     
  4. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    The estate will have to pay for it in the aftermath ... if there is any estate to speak of when all is said and done. Can't go after the kids ...

    Just don't let it go to collections. Not only will you have to deal with interests and other headhunting fees, but then you'll also have some ambitious kid who wants that fee in his/her pocket hounding you over the phone ... and if that doesn't get it done, it can evolve into a little court case.
     
  5. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    As long as its not a swim or cross-country parent, I think I'll be OK
    :)
     
  6. Brad Guire

    Brad Guire Member

    I had a few bills from kidney stone problems this year that ended up being a few thousand. I had to do a payment plan through the bank. Of course, there's interest, but it's not like I can pay it up front. Do what you've gotta do.
     
  7. bydesign77

    bydesign77 Active Member

    It might also be a good idea to see if you can negotiate the balance down. They might have billed you at a higher rate for things than what they would have charged the insurance for.

    I know Clark Howard talks about this a lot on his show.

    I don't know how it all works, but hey, you might be able to get some of that taken care of!
     
  8. Simon

    Simon Active Member

    Ask for a financial waiver application. Fill it out. JUST DO IT.

    The worst they can do is deny you. The best thing is they can waive portions or the debt or the entire thing based on charity.

    After that is processed, go ahead and negotiate down with them. See if you can get interest stopped as long as you make timely payments. Also, NO MATTER WHAT, get the agreement in writing.

    Yes, I used to work in debt collection. Yes, these things work.
     
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