At least 1 in 4 Americans had trouble paying a recent medical bill, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. So if you're facing a stressful doctor's bill, you're certainly not alone.
If you've never negotiated a bill before, it can be tough to figure out where to start. These 7 tips can help you start negotiating your medical bills down so you can pay them off quicker:
For expert insights, I spoke with Robin Saks Frankel, a personal finance expert and credit card analyst with Forbes Advisor. Just remember, your money and health are very personal. What's worked for others might not work for you, so always look at your own needs and situation when you're negotiating.
1. If you can, find out the pricing for medical procedures and appointments in advance.
2. And always check over your bill for costly errors.
3. Make sure you reach out to the right department to negotiate your bill.
4. If you’re uninsured, be sure to ask for a price reduction.
5. And you can also apply for financial assistance.
6. See if a patient advocate can help you.
7. And finally, remember that cash is still king, so if you can pay part of the bill upfront, that might help you negotiate it down.
Negotiating your medical bills takes work, but it's well worth the effort.
Whether you’ve recently received a medical bill in the mail or have been struggling with medical debt for a while, you can start negotiating your bills and getting them paid off once and for all. You don’t need a lot of money to negotiate or even to get someone to negotiate on your behalf.
Most importantly, you can start by just getting on the phone with your provider’s billing department and explaining your desire to negotiate the balance. So many others have been doing this, so it can't hurt to give it a try.