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Negotiating medical bills may bring balances down

For some Pennsylvania patients, coming home from the hospital after an injury, illness or surgery is a positive step in the recovery process. Unfortunately, within the next few weeks and months could come unexpected medical bills, all of which could add up to a balance that a recovering patient cannot pay. Many are left in the position of trying to negotiate the balance with the hospital.

For services not covered by insurance, hospitals typically charge the maximum rate. A patient who is unable to pay his or her bill may be able to reach out and request a discounted rate, something many billing departments are willing to do. Negotiating a balance is not always successful the first attempt, and it may require more than one effort to reach a reasonable agreement. Some hospitals also offer aid to patients who earn under a certain amount of money each year.

Before negotiating a medical bill, it is important to get an itemized list of all charges from the hospital. It is possible a billing error could lead to a higher-than-expected bill. A patient will then want to seek other sources of money that could help pay his or her bills, such as a subsidized insurance plan. If that does not help, it is reasonable to then pursue a lower bill directly with the hospital.

Lower medical bills may not provide any true long-term relief with finances for some Pennsylvania patients. There are circumstances that could merit filing for bankruptcy, a process that provides a way to discharge certain types of balances. Someone overwhelmed by medical debt or other financial challenges may find it beneficial to seek the guidance of an experienced legal professional.