The recently released results of a study launched last year by NerdWallet may surprise you: it’s very likely you’re overpaying for your medical care.
Americans pay more annually toward accrued medical debt than they do toward bank and credit card debt combined. In fact, the NerdWallet study estimates that one in five Americans will be contacted about their medical bills by a debt collection agency this year.
Since so many Americans are struggling with medical debt, it is completely understandable that it is the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in this country every year. It’s not uncommon for people to be extremely surprised when they get the bills. You thought the bill would be X and it turns out to be Y – and Y is far more than you can afford. Now you are drowning in debt.
In 2013, the Office of the Inspector General conducted a widespread review of U.S. hospitals, and found “rampant billing errors led to an average medical bill overcharge of 26 percent.” This means your total cost could be – on average – nearly 30 percent higher than it should be, simply due to a mistake made by the person who compiled the bill! Plus, it’s not unusual to receive different bills from a variety of providers. They add up fast.
You may be able to avoid crippling medical debt simply by carefully reading your bill. Check for duplicate charges or incorrect patient information. If you find charges you believe should be covered by your insurance and were not, appeal the claim with your insurance provider immediately. Similarly, if you believe you are being “double charged,” by the hospital and a provider, for example, speak up.
If you, like so many Americans, have fallen behind on your unmanageable medical bills, the office of Joel R. Spivack Esq. can help. Mr. Spivack is a skilled bankruptcy lawyer and he can guide you through the process and help you get back on your financial feet again.