HELPFUL HINTS FOR MANAGING MEDICAL DEBT

 

Be Polite, Prompt, and Courteous when speaking with individuals who are trying to collect a debt from you. However, you need not subject yourself to rude or stressful conversations with bill collectors.

Be honest. If you've overspent, lost your job,etc. say so. Do not agree to a payment plan or amount that you know you cannot possibly comply with. It is better to tell a debtor that you can only pay $5 a month, than to agree to a bigger payment that you risk reneging on.

Stick with it! Once you have set up a payment plan that is reasonable for you, don’t stop your payments.

Keep in touch. A provider or collection agency will know that you are making a good faith effort when you return their phone calls and provide them with an explanation as to why you cannot pay the bill immediately.

Hospital expenses. Patients should contact the hospital to see if they are eligible to apply for "free bed" funds. To read more go to:
Connecticut Hospital Free Care and Financial Assistance Discount Programs

Don’t pay balances if you are receiving Medicaid. If you or your child are Medicaid clients, it is important to remember that a medical provider who is certified with the state Medicaid program cannot bill you for any remaining balance after Medicaid has reimbursed them. Call your provider’s billing department or person in charge of bill collection and let them know you are a Medicaid client. It is illegal for a Medicaid provider to balance bill a Medicaid/Husky A client.

Coordinate your benefits. If you have Medicaid and private insurance, state regulations allow your providers to direct bill your insurance company. The provider will then bill Medicaid for any balance after insurance has paid.

For more information go to:
Families USA: Guide to Coping with Medical Debt
http://familiesusa2.org/assets/pdfs/coping-with-medical-debt.pdf

Smart About Money:
http://www.smartaboutmoney.org/

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service names:
Credit Counseling
Debt Consolidation Services
Financial Management Workshops
Personal Financial Counseling

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PREPARED BY: 211/lb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED:
July2013