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Medical Debt 101

Getting injured in an accident or having an extended illness can be stressful enough, but the medical bills that follow can sometimes push you to the edge financially. Even if you do have health insurance, it does not necessarily pay for every health-related expense or pay for your time off work. As a result, medical debt is the cause of more than half of all bankruptcies.

If you live in Kansas or Missouri and find yourself struggling with medical debt, here are a few steps you can take to help yourself.

Negotiate Medical Bills

Many medical providers are willing to cut the size of their bill in order to get partial payment. And you don’t have to wait until after a procedure to get started. If you can, speak with your doctor or service provider about your circumstances prior to the procedure. Ask if they will give a discount if you are willing to pay in cash at the time of service. Or negotiate a payment schedule if they won’t drop the price.

Look for Errors In Medical Billing

A recent study showed that as many as 80 percent of medical bills contain errors. You need to make sure you won’t be paying for a service you did not receive. Be sure to ask for an itemization of all charges, so that you can look for double charges or obvious mistakes.

Do Not Put the Medical Bill on Credit

Many specialty medical credit cards are launching, with the intent of convincing people to put uncovered medical debt on the card at 0 percent interest for a certain time period. While it seems like a good idea, the fine print shows otherwise. Once you put the bill on credit, you no longer have room to negotiate with the provider. And while certain medical cards don’t charge interest, that only lasts as long as you pay on time. If you miss a payment or fail to pay off the debt in time, you will be hit with a high interest rate retroactive to the time you borrowed.


If you have overwhelming medical debt, you need an experienced Kansas City lawyer to help out. Call us today at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney. Or you can email us and schedule your free consultation.


Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City
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