Should I pay a small amount on medical bills that have gone into collection?

Should I pay a small amount on medical bills that have gone into collection?
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#1

I can’t afford to pay them off completely. I’m 27 and make $30,000 as a bartender. I thought they were all covered by my insurance, but when my primary doctor left, these charges appeared. I also have student loans and back taxes to pay.


#2

I need more information to answer your question.
First, have you reviewed the balances on your statements to make certain they are correct, i.e., that you received all the services for which you have been billed and that your insurance has covered everything for which it is responsible? If not, this should be your first step.
If the statements are correct, then contact the individual providers to see if they will either pull back their bills from collections and forgive all or part of the balance due based on your financial need, or allow you to apply for financial assistance. (This will require telephone calls and carefully crafted letters on your part.) If neither of these options is possible, then negotiate a monthly payment plan with the collections agency. Sometimes a collection agency will agree to partial payment of the entire balance as payment in full if immediate payment is made.
Wishing you the very best,
R. Ruth Linden, Ph.D., President, Tree of Life Health Advocates, San Francisco, CA


#3

Unpaid medical bills often end up scarring your credit report, which can then impact your finances down the road but with that being said a surprisingly large proportion of medical bills contain clerical errors that result in overcharges.
All medical bills are negotiable. You might want to try to negotiate with the collection agency and arrange affordable monthly payments or maybe reach out to a medical bill advocate who will audit the medical records for errors in coding, compliance, pricing and will negotiate any out of pocket expenses for you.
Medical bill advocates normally charge 25-35% of what they save you and only if they save you money.
Hopes this helps!
If you need assistance please reach out!
Cheryl Welch, MBA
Hudson Valley Medical Bill Advocates


#4

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