Avoiding and dealing with medical debt

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A new study shows one in three Americans have difficulty paying medical bills.

Thomas Nitzsche, from Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions talked with Elliot Weiler about some tips to help you avoid getting into that debt and coping with it if you already have it.

* Fight 'observation status' to avoid high hospital bills.

* Maintain regular checkups and avoid ERs when possible in favor of urgent care or your regular doctor.

* Request 'financial assistance' for balance due the hospital, even if you think (or know) that you won’t qualify. Simply the act of applying (even if denied) can allow the collections department of some providers to give you a longer term to repay the balance. Even consumers who are not low-income can get significant balance reductions if they prove a financial hardship and back it up with the proper documentation. The balance can then be put on a payment plan as low as 0% up to 24 months (maybe longer).

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1 Comment

  • tpMRS

    Always request an itemized medical bill that lists every detail of what you are being charged. This will help you see if something does not look correct on your bill — and this is important, especially since 80% of medical bills contain errors.

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