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  • paying hospital bills HELP

    [paying hospital bills HELP]

    Author: Ronnie (---.tnt1.columbus.ms.da.uu.net)

    Date: 10-17-02 19:07

    I am getting bills from 4 different agencies. What can I do to keep them off my back. They are threatening to put a collection agency on me. I pay each of them 100.00 a month.. Thats 400 a month. If they get a collection agency after me, I might start paying 100. a month between the 4 of them. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    I had an ICD installed in me on April 30th of this year. I only owe about 2500.00 total, thanks to decent insurance. Thanks,

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: paying hospital bills HELP]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 10-17-02 19:43

    Here is what you can try to do... Call each one expain that you have many bills and only so much money - try to negotiate the balances - -

    Call all of them up front tell them you will pay whatever it is you can for a few months...save up a little money then call the one with the biggest balance - -try the old if I paid it all tomorrow what would you take? You may find they are willing to take as much as 50% of the total due. Then the next month call the 2nd highest and try again...until they are gone.

    if you pay something and stay in touch they are not likely to send you to collection...if they do they are only going to get a portion of the money as they will have to pay the agency a percentage.

    I have done this many times over the years for my employees..in fact once I even stuck a great deal with the IRS! who would think you can negotiate your way out of that!

    Never hurts to try.

    Good luck

    Lisa

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    [Re: paying hospital bills HELP]

    Author: Sarah B--Board Moderator (---.client.attbi.com)

    Date: 10-17-02 19:49

    Dear Ronnie

    Remember that you are talking to a real person when you call and explain what you had done and that you intend to pay it off, but you can only do so much. I've had success in these situations too. They can tell when you are telling the truth and appreciate just getting the money eventually, they just need to know up front how you are paying and why.

    good luck,

    S

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: paying hospital bills HELP]

    Author: Erica (---.atlnga1.dsl-verizon.net)

    Date: 10-17-02 21:38

    My suggestion ... follow the advice of Clark Howard. Clark is a nationally syndicated radio/TV consumer advocate who offers excellent tips on dealing with debt issues. According to Clark, the best option is Consumer Credit Counseling, which can help you work out a debt repayment plan and work with your creditors to reduce your monthly payments and stop that phone from ringing. Clark recommended the following sites: http://www.nfcc.org and http://www.debtadvice.org/

    Clark Howard's website: http://clarkhoward.com/

    Here is some valuable information I found for you on Clark Howard's website:

    Collection agencies coming for you - February 5, 2002

    What happens if you fall behind on a bill? Well, first of all, you need to pay it. If it's become impossible for you to pay it, then you could start getting calls from collection agencies. These days, collectors are feeling more and more desperate because the “recovery rate” is down to about 11 cents. What this means is that so many people are not paying their debts, it's causing collection agencies are break the law to get their money. Here's the gist of what these collection agencies can and can't do, according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Collectors are forbidden from calling early in morning after 9pm at night; they can't tell someone else that you owe money and they can’t threaten to garnish your wages. The reality is that you have some power in this situation. If you are getting calls at all hours of the day, you have the right to send them a drop dead letter, letting them know. For a sample letter, click here: http://clarkhoward.com/topics/drop_dead_letter.html. And when your circumstances improve, pay your debts.

    Another option is to consolidate your four bills into one loan through a bank ... just be careful that your $2,500 doesn't turn into $5,000 after interest. I was in your same shoes ... $2,500 in debt with credit cards and medical bills. I could barely make the minimum payments to each company after paying rent, car insurance, and utility bills (I was making pennies back then as a school teacher.) Anyhow, I went to my bank and had all my bills consolidated into one. The bank paid my debts that same week and in turn I only had to make one monthly payment to the bank. I was able to get a very low interest rate so I didn't mind paying a little extra to keep the credit agencies away from me! I had my loan spread out over 24 months and I only have two months to go! Clark recommends Consumer Credit Counseling over the approach I took but I didn't know about this option 2 years ago!

    I know how you are feeling. Just know there is a solution. I hope this information helps! ~ Erica

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: paying hospital bills HELP]

    Author: Erica (---.atlnga1.dsl-verizon.net)

    Date: 10-17-02 21:52

    PS - the information I provided is just something else to consider in addition to what Lisa and Sarah shared with you above. Try to talking to debtors first and see where you get... sound them out to see if they will be willing to work with you. If they are unwilling to help you settle -- negotiate -- then follow my advice above! Clark Howard is always right on the ball! Best of luck! ~ Erica

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    [Thanks everyone]

    Author: Ronnie (---.tnt1.columbus.ms.da.uu.net)

    Date: 10-17-02 22:06

    Some good advice from you good people. Taking out a loan is not going to happen. Why pay interest when the hospital debt is interest free. I can afford the 400 a month (it hurts though), I just can't pay off the entire debt in one payment. I will just keep sending them what I can, it should only take me about 6 months to get it all paid off. The people on this board have an answer for everthing, I look forward to meeting some of you real soon. God Bless all of you!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Thanks everyone]

    Author: Lisa (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 10-18-02 08:42

    Ronnie -

    Even if you can afford it NEGOTIATE anyway...cant hurt.

    Lisa

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Thanks everyone]

    Author: Stefanie (---.isp.comcastbusiness.net)

    Date: 10-18-02 09:52

    Ronnie,

    As far as I know as long as you are making a good faith effort to pay your medical bills on time every month they can not send you to a collection agency. I have done medical billing since 1994 and thats the rule I was taught and still go by today. Also when you do go to negotiate with the billing department if you have some information about the usual and prevaling charges in your area for the bills that you do have you may have a better chance of getting them knocked down. I suggest calling your insurance company and seeing if they can help with some of that info. Hope this helps. - Stefanie

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    [Re: Thanks everyone]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 10-19-02 13:33

    Good suggestions Stefanie!

    Lisa
    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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