My medical bill was sent to collections -- what should I do?

My medical bill was sent to collections -- what should I do?
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I’ve been notified that a hospital bill for around $5000 has been sent to a collection Agency. I did speak to them earlier today, and they are requesting either for the bill to be paid off in one sum (which they would reduce it to about $4000) or I can set up a payment plan to pay it off in 12 months (which would come to $333 per month). I think I was given bad advice because I was told (by someone who works in the healthcare industry) to pay a small amount to show my intent to pay but instead the entire amount outstanding was sent to this collection agency. The problem is my income after taxes is currently about the same as my expenses between rent, credit cards, student loans, other medical bills, etc. At this point, I’m not sure what to do since I can’t pay the amount owed?


I would first look into financial assistance with the hospital. If you don’t qualify inquire about uninsured discount.
You can always reach out to a medical bill advocate to review your medical records for errors in coding, compliance and pricing.
Medical bill advocates normally charge (25-35%) of what they save you and if they don’t save you money their services should come at no cost. They will work with the hospital, insurance company or the collection agency on your behalf.
If you need assistance please reach out since 80% of medical bills have errors.
Best of luck to you!
Cheryl Welch, MBA
Hudson Valley Medical Bill Advocates


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