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For many adults, “debt” is one of the scariest words you could hear.
In the United States alone, there is more than $22 trillion owed by the federal government, a staggering number that only seems to keep growing. A huge source of debt for many Americans are hospital bills, which can have a severe impact on the credit score of an individual. If you find yourself struggling with trying to manage medical bills of your own, here are a few tips to make your life easier.
Understand Your Bills
Getting a medical bill in the mail is never a pleasant surprise, but try not to panic. While it may be overwhelming in the moment, it is essential to make sure you thoroughly understand your bill. Depending on the type of visit or procedure you had, you may be charged for several different things. For example, you may receive one bill from your doctor, one from the laboratory, and one from the hospital, which can seem overwhelming. If you have medical bills relating to a road accident you were in, consulting a car accident lawyer in Pittsburgh to help you fully understand your situation. Thoroughly understanding your bills and how much you owe is the first step to managing your medical bills and paying off your debts.
Make a Budget
Once you have an understanding of your medical bills and what you owe, it’s time to plan out a budget. First consider all of the monthly expenses you have. These could be rent/mortgage payments, auto loans, utility payments, and food or any other expenses you may have. Next, figure out how much you owe on your medical bills and what you can afford to pay each month. Call your doctor or insurance company and see if there is a way you can break down your bill and make monthly payments instead of paying it all at once. Most of the time you will be able to do this, and being able to budget your monthly payments will make your medical bills seem less daunting.
Pay on Time
Regardless of how overwhelming they may seem, one of the worst things you could do is pay your medical bills late. Doing this can have a severe impact on your credit score and will only set you back, so be sure to work with your insurance company so that it doesn’t come to this. When you skip out on a medical bill payment your debt gets forwarded to a collection agency, which can then result in your debt being reported to a credit bureau, taken to small claims court, or both. Late or unpaid medical bills can seriously derail your finances and can even prevent you from getting approved for a home or auto loan in the future, so be sure you’re paying your bills on time each month.
Medical bills can put a serious dent in your wallet, especially if not properly budgeted for. However, there are ways you can manage your medical bills to make your life a little easier. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to a debt-free life in no time!