Mounting Medical Bills

Growing up with a mom who was at her kidney doctor weekly for testing on her transplanted kidney, I understand the financial difficulty of dealing with the medical costs. So, when I was diagnosed with hep C and enduring numerous biopsies, MRI’s, CT scans, blood work, several stays in the hospital, etc., the bills started adding up.

Stress and insomnia

It became so stressful for me that I couldn’t sleep. But, after I took time to think everything through, I remembered what my mom used to do... I would over hear her on the phone with insurance claims at the hospital, asking about getting on a payment plan. Many times, she would be crying while pleading her case with the agent on the phone.

Facing my medical bills

Now I was coming into the same fate as her. With my first hospital stay and numerous biopsies, my amount due now exceeded $12,000.  I got on the phone with the hospital accounting department and did the same thing I remember my mom doing, sharing my story, along with tears, with the person on the phone. We agreed to an amount that I could afford. It was not much, but what I learned with my mom was talk right away to the clinic, hospital, or doctor's office and get a plan of action. These bills will not go away and if you ignore them, the facility will turn it over to a collection agency and at which time nothing can be done on the part of the medical facility to help you out.

Avoiding collections agencies

From experience, collection agencies are not nice. They are there to do a job and that is to get money for their clients. Let’s face it, not one person turned over to collections is made of wealth, or they would not be there in the first place... so trying to share your story or case with them will usually fall on deaf-ears.  They seem uncaring and insensitive to your difficulty in paying.

My advice

My take away I want you to hear on this blog is to communicate with the medical facility immediately.  Don’t put off. If your health is not good, get someone close to you to do the financial things for you. You will need a power of attorney for them to be able to discuss private matters with the hospital or medical group.  Also, keep in mind not everything is billed through one area such as hospital... It is a tier-like figure.  You will get a bill from hospital, laboratory (blood work), doctor, and any other specialist who saw you; This may need several phone calls to get set up. It is a stress those of us who are very sick don’t need, but unfortunately, it's life.

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