Fighting medical bills takes an emotional and physical toll, even leading some patients to further health problems due to the chronic stress expensive medical bills induce. What happens if you’re too sick to fight a medical bill? Read on to learn what your options are.
The Effects of Being Too Sick to Fight a Medical Bill
Medical bills influence your peace of mind and financial situation, but if you’re sick and need ongoing healthcare, they may affect your treatment, too. For example, a study done in 2018 showed that nearly 10 million newly diagnosed cancer patients over the age of 50 acquired financial toxicity, or problems affording medical care. Since more than half of cancer patients stop working when they begin treatment, and treatment is too intensive to give them the time and energy to fight medical bills, many are left with a choice no one should have to make: go into medical debt or stop cancer treatment.
In some cases, a large medical bill is the result of a denied claim for a service you’ll need to continue with as part of your treatment plan (like a medication your doctor has prescribed that your insurance deems experimental, or a weekly physical therapy session you need to manage your sickness that your insurance has claimed is not medically necessary). While you gather the energy to fight the denial and wait for insurance coverage, your treatment may be interrupted if you cannot afford to cover the service out-of-pocket. That’s when you’ll want help with medical bills.
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What Can Happen if Medical Bills Pile Up
If your health condition has drained the energy you need to fight medical debt, your bills will start to pile up. Your sickness may also keep you from working, leaving you without the income needed to cover your medical bills. When this happens, and you miss a few payments, your bills will be sent to collections. Then, you’ll be hounded by phone, email, and even social media by debt collectors, who won’t let you rest until you’ve paid your medical bills.
The longer you go without paying off your medical debt, the greater impact it will have on your life. After you’ve let medical bills go unpaid for a year, they will appear on your credit report. This means that any time you apply for a loan, mortgage, or even a credit card, creditors will see your low score and unpaid medical debt. Because of your medical debt you may be unable to get a loan, mortgage, or credit card, which can have long-lasting financial impacts.
How to Get Help With Medical Bills
Luckily, you can get help with medical bills when you’re too sick to fight them yourself. Here is how to seek medical bill assistance:
- Ask a Friend or Relative for Help. If you’re too sick to fight a medical bill, you’ll need to rely on your caretakers or the people around you for help. As inconvenient and stressful as it might be, you may have to ask a friend or relative to make the necessary phone calls and fight medical bills for you. With their lack of medical billing experience, however, they won’t have the necessary knowledge to get you all the savings possible.
- Sign Up for a Payment Plan. Without the energy to take on an exhausting fight, you may need to give up and pay the bill. That doesn’t mean you have to tackle the entire sum right away—you can also contact the medical facility in the hopes that they can set you up with a payment plan so that you can chip away at your medical debt over time.
- Hire a Medical Billing Lawyer. If you feel that your insurance company wrongfully denied a claim or sent an unlawful medical bill, you can hire a medical billing lawyer to litigate on your behalf. This option is not available in all situations, however, and can be very expensive whether you win your case or not.
- Get Help From a Medical Billing Advocate. The most convenient and safest option is to get help from a medical billing advocate. A service like aJust can take over medical bill negotiations for you and use their superior understanding of the system to give you a shot at a reduced bill or reversed denial.
The Advantages of Going With aJust
Dealing with illness of any kind is stressful, frustrating, and an all-consuming experience that leaves no room for something as draining as fighting medical bills. When you seek help from aJust, you can focus your time and energy on healing while they take care of your debt. Simply hand over the necessary documents, then get back to your treatment as aJust goes to bat for you. Plus, if they don’t succeed at lowering your bill, you pay nothing. Start the process today!