Reduce Your Medical Bills by 50%

One of the worst feelings in the world is having a loved one sick and in the hospital. Then almost as bad is getting the bills in the mail, sometimes while they’re still being treated. I know the feeling well. Opening those ominous envelopes and seeing five figure numbers in bright red ink. Then receiving another bill from the doctor, then the other doctor, then the radiologist, etc, etc, etc. Pretty soon you’re holding over 30k in bills and are completely overwhelmed. Here’s what you can do to reduce these bills.

Step one:

Take a deep breath and relax. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Bankruptcy? While that would suck it’s not the end of the world. Bankruptcy happens to lots of people, even Donald Trump, and he survived it. So grab a cherry coke to make that truth easier to swallow and move on to step two.

Step Two:

Make sure that you don’t have any duplicates. Then call each billing company and ask for an itemized bill. Once you have the itemized bill go through each line. $10 for a box of tissues? They can do better, just ask.

Step Three:

Ask for discounts. For people with no insurance, hospitals will often offer discounts up to 50%, sometimes even more. You just have to ask. Even if you do have insurance, if there’s something your insurance provider won’t cover they will often offer the same discount.

Step Four:

Now that you have reduced all the bills, if you don’t have the money up front ask to set up a payment plan. Often times they will ask you what you can afford and set up a plan for however many months it will take to pay it off.

Step Five:

Make your payments. Even if you can’t make an entire payment each month. Pay what you can. While they can still send the bill to collections they probably won’t as long as you are making at least a small payment each month.

Depending on your situation, you may qualify to have your bills forgiven by the hospital or paid for by a charity care. These are almost like scholarships for medical bills. Apply for all of these options! If you are uninsured or possibly low income you may also qualify for medicaid, so apply. The worst they can say is no and you’re no worse off than before.

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13 thoughts on “Reduce Your Medical Bills by 50%”

  1. Some great tips. We don’t have medical insurance but have opted for Healthcare Sharing through Christian Healthcare Ministries. They are recognized so that we don’t get penalized at the end of the year for not having health insurance, but we are still considered self-pay by the hospitals because it is not officially an insurance. You are right about possibly getting 50% off by being self-pay. One of our hospitals gives 20% off but the other gives 50% off right away for self-pay patients. I have also found that pharmacies have different policies and have found that CVS in our area gives a self-pay coupon that brought my sons prescription when he broke his arm from $54 to $14. It is amazing what you can find out just from calling around and asking.
    Thanks for sharing the info you have found!

    1. I love that you’re doing that! I’m definitely going to look into different pharmacies for my hubby’s prescriptions. I’ve heard really good things about Christian Healthcare Ministries, my sister uses them and it works perfectly for her.

  2. This was really interested! I’m having the same problem right now expect I went to go get an absense under my skin removed and the doctor didn’t fully remove it. Now I’m stuck paying medical
    Bills and probably need another surgery. I don’t know what to do.

  3. I can see how this would be helpful if you need to pay for medical procedures. We are lucky in Canada and most things are covered with out medical system.

  4. Some pretty good tips here. I especially agree with Asking. Often times we fold under the overwhelm, and forget to simply ask. If you don’t ask… you don’t get. We’re quite lucky in New Zealand that there are subsidies that cover medical treatments etc. Thanks for sharing this xx

  5. Very helpful tips. We recently changed insurance companies and they now charge a lot more for preventative care. I don’t want to skip my preventative testing though. I will look into calling to get an itemized list and requesting reduced prices next time. Thanks!

  6. Medical bills can be crippling on top of the fact that clearly to obtain the bills you were already suffering from injury or illness. Any assistance is better than no assistance. Thanks for the suggestions.

  7. I’ve never thought of asking for discounts on medical bills/insurance. I think that’s actually a good idea because asking for it doesn’t hurt.

  8. I like your step 5. There is nothing they can do if you make a payment, even if its what you can afford at the time at least you trying and not avoiding the problem. I find People also go to the doctor for silly things when there are so many home remedies that helped me and my family.

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