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I have a lousy medical insurance. After my insurance's coverage, I have to pay $10k to the hospital. The hospital sent me a letter saying if I don't pay in 10 days, my account may be evaluated for further collection efforts. I called them for discount but got rejected. I'm not qualified for any charity financial aid. Is there any way to lower my bill?

What's my chance to get a discount from the hospital?
Does it help if I hire some medical bill advocate or debt company?
If my bill go to collection, will they offer me any discount?Or will they add more fees above my bill so I have to pay more?

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Hospitals are routinely over billing for items incorrectly or not even used so just a thorough bill audit should reduce ... (more)

SUCKISSTAPLES (Apr. 21, 2013 @ 1:38a) |

What would you do if one of your clients pulled this? Same thing is going to happen to OP.

umcsom (Apr. 22, 2013 @ 6:32p) |

stop doing cocaine and don't go to the hospital

johnfkennedy (Apr. 24, 2013 @ 11:38a) |

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They already gave you a discount for being insured. You're paying rates negotiated by the insurance company. That's why you don't qualify for more discounts.

If your bill goes to collection, it could go either way, but your credit will be ruined for the next decade.

Is it that you can't pay or you won't pay. If you have lousy medical insurance (10K deductible or whatever) it is because that is the coverage you opted for (perhaps you had no choice based on income).

I know that there are some services that will analyze your bill and barter for lower service rates with a hospital but depending on your total bill, and how much was paid by insurance, I'm not sure how much they might be able to discount.

Your best bet is probably to ask the hospital to put you on a payment plan.

If it goes to collections you will likely be able to get it discounted, but it will likely impact your credit.

I can't pay.......

cokecokecoke said:   I can't pay.......

Walter White couldn't pay his medical bills and learned to cook Meth. Perhaps you should consider this line of work?

I think the OP might be more interested in coke.

I would just call them up and ask for a payment plan. Just say I don't have the money.

Worst that can happen is they say no. I've heard rumors that as long as you pay a bit each month on a medical bill they usually won't send it to collections. Not sure how true that is.

File bankruptcy, then you don't have to pay!

I've heard of a service that will look at your bill and help eliminate redundant or other incorrect charges and share in the savings with you.

You have some kind of coinsurance where you pay a percent or total? I ask because hospital has done the same thing to me and it turns out they were balance billing me which they cannot do and they should have accepted what the insurance gave them as payment even if it was less than they wanted.

That and get an itemized listing of every charge from them and there are likely items they did not use that were charged for or that you can dispute as ridiculous in price.

LordB said:   I would just call them up and ask for a payment plan. Just say I don't have the money.

Worst that can happen is they say no. I've heard rumors that as long as you pay a bit each month on a medical bill they usually won't send it to collections. Not sure how true that is.


It is true, my aunt is paying $15 a month for a procedure years ago that cost thousands. BTW, she is a low income.

stop calling, make an appointment to meet with them, and bring pay stubs, if you can't pay, you need to prove it, they will likely work with you, but you need to get out in front of it

I agree with acroBios - the amount you owe the provider is included on the insurance statement, make sure it's the same as the hospital bill. Call your insurance provider to verify the amount and go thru the filings with them to make sure all procedures were billed correctly if they were not covered. You only have so much time to dispute an insurance claim so get on it.

Not paying the hospital is not an option - they will send it to collections. Make an appt. with the accounting dept at the hospital and tell them what you are going to pay every month. Even if it's less than what they would like, they will accept it.

skh12 said:   stop calling, make an appointment to meet with them, and bring pay stubs, if you can't pay, you need to prove it, they will likely work with you, but you need to get out in front of it

+green. That's exactly what my low income friends do. They take their pay stubs and tax returns and go meet in person. They say straightforward "Here's what I make. How should I handle this?"

I'm always surprised how willing hospitals are to work with them. Restores my faith in humanity.

Is your "lousy insurance" a high deductible plan that's supposed to be paired with an HSA? do you have an HSA?

I attempted to assist a family member with a hospital bill. The hospital was not willing to work with this family member because they had insurance. they wanted the FULL amount after the very tiny portion paid by the crappy insurance. The hospital's idea of a payment plan was $700 per month. I explained that this family is barely paying their bills and they don't have an extra $700 a month to pay. The best I could work out was a 6 month payment plan with zero percent interest.

I paid the monthly payments to get this family member out of debt. This hospital played hard ball with folks that had insurance. I got the impression they would have more flexibility to work with you if you had no insurance.

A friend mentioned that hospitals collected about ten cents on the dollar from uninsured but the uninsured are charged the highest amounts as there are no negotiated rates for uninsured. Seems backward to me.

Make sure they're not charging you the prices from their "Charge Master." Also, make sure that the unit prices that you're being billed is the same as what the insurance reimbursed.

I would try and setup a payment plan, that's better then destroying your credit. All the hospital's I have dealt with will do this at 0% as well.

Tell the hospital that there is noway you can pay $10K. You will rather file bankruptcy. They will work with you.

Can you afford $277/mo? That will pay it off in 3 years, which is a long time but most hospitals will go out that far for large bills.
Tell them that is all you can afford and you really want to pay it. They deal with people all the time who have no intention of ever paying, if it looks like you want to pay they will work with you.

If you really can't afford that, then do what others suggested and take in your pay stubs and tell them you just don't have the money to pay. Very good chance you will get a large discount and/or a payment plan you can afford.

If you can afford at least half a good line to try is that you can borrow $XXXX from (parent, friend, 401k, etc.) but that is all you can get. You don't see the point in sending that amount in if they are still going to pursue you for the balance. Is there anything that can be done. Make sure you sound sincere and desperate.

That really does work wonders.

OP,

Note that "evaluated for further collection" is a long way from taking collection action. Very likely they will try to work things out with you before doing anything more.

Be sure that you keep all letters, phone recordings etc. related to this collection because there is a good chance you will soon be (or already have been) the victim of collection actions which violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Also, take a look at the ongoing wall street journal and New York Time series on hospital debt collection practices legal violations.

If you are truly broke the hospital (as an untaxed charity) has the legal duty to write off your excess bill. Not that they always obey the law.

If you can't work things out file a complaint with your state attorney-general's consumer protection office that the hospital should have its no tax exemption revoked etc. As a last resort this should worry the hospital.

johnfw said:   LordB said:   I would just call them up and ask for a payment plan. Just say I don't have the money.

Worst that can happen is they say no. I've heard rumors that as long as you pay a bit each month on a medical bill they usually won't send it to collections. Not sure how true that is.


It is true, my aunt is paying $15 a month for a procedure years ago that cost thousands. BTW, she is a low income.


thanks for clarifying she is low income, wasn't sure by the post.

Hospitals are routinely over billing for items incorrectly or not even used so just a thorough bill audit should reduce it

I'd start sending $20 a month with a sticky note saying that's all you can afford . Don't provide them any financials or sit down with them . You dictate the terms you find acceptable - either they take it or they don't

If you don't have the money you don't have the money , point blank

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   Hospitals are routinely over billing for items incorrectly or not even used so just a thorough bill audit should reduce it

I'd start sending $20 a month with a sticky note saying that's all you can afford . Don't provide them any financials or sit down with them . You dictate the terms you find acceptable - either they take it or they don't

If you don't have the money you don't have the money , point blank


What would you do if one of your clients pulled this? Same thing is going to happen to OP.

stop doing cocaine and don't go to the hospital



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