Author Archives: Winter Park Housing Authority

Tips on What to Do if You Can’t Pay Your Medical Bills

Tips on What to Do if You Can’t Pay Your Medical Bills

The cost of healthcare is infamously high in America today, and millions of people don’t have health insurance or are “underinsured,” which means their coverage doesn’t provide as much financial help as they actually need. Medical debt is even the leading cause of bankruptcy in the US. When bills pile up from doctors’ offices, clinics, or a hospital, it leaves many people wondering what to do if you can’t pay your medical bills.

Unpaid bills eventually get sold to collection agencies, who report the debt to the three credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Accounts in collection are a serious negative on your credit report, taking a significant toll on your credit score and sometimes automatically disqualifying you from some loans, lines of credit, or even jobs where employers do a credit check prior to hiring (read about how to raise your credit score here).

So, if you’re wondering what to do if you can’t pay your medical bills, take a look at the advice below.

Dealing with Your Medical Debt

  • Review your itemized bills closely for mistakes, because they’re incredibly common—especially on hospital bills (some sources claim that as many as 90 percent of hospital bills contain billing errors). If you find charges that shouldn’t be there, bring them to the attention of the provider’s billing department.
  • Contact the billing department and explain that you have financial hardship and can’t pay your medical bills. Often, you get a discount just by asking, and many hospitals have hardship programs that offer financial assistance. One good strategy when negotiating is to ask how much insurance companies or Medicare pays for the same services you received, and offer to pay that amount (it’s usually lower). You can also use websites like New Choice Health or Healthcare Bluebook to see average costs in your area for the services or procedures you had; if you’re being charged above-average prices, point this out and use it in your negotiations too.
  • Ask for a payment plan and try to work out a monthly payment you an afford. If you can make a down payment upfront, this should help you negotiate a lower monthly payment.
  • Don’t use credit cards to pay off medical debt. There’s almost never interest charged on medical bills (and when there is, it’s generally a very low rate), whether they’ve gone unpaid for a while or you have a payment plan. But interest rates are usually pretty high on credit cards, so paying healthcare bills this way greatly increases your total cost.
  • Look for sources of financial assistance. If your debt is with a hospital, start there. Help may also be available by applying to Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in your state. Then, go through this list of medical debt assistance programs and seek help from any that are relevant.
  • If you have debt in collections, negotiate with the collection agency. Make an offer to pay a lower amount, and expect a counter-offer and some haggling. You can also ask for a payment plan, but do so after first getting your balance reduced (which is almost always possible, because debt collectors much prefer to get some money than to get none).
Do You Know How Assistance Dogs Help People with Disabilities?

Do You Know How Assistance Dogs Help People with Disabilities?

For many individuals living with all sorts of disabilities and health conditions, it can be a real struggle to complete even basic daily tasks that most people barely give a thought to. Also, many worry about potentially life-threatening symptoms or effects of their condition on a daily basis. One option people with certain disabilities should… Continue Reading

10 Reputable Websites Offering Free Online Classes

10 Reputable Websites Offering Free Online Classes

There are a number of websites offering free online classes you can take in your spare time. They provide amazing opportunities for some personal and professional development, particularly for people on a tight budget or who’ve struggled to find the money or time to attend or finish college. Taking web courses teaches you new skills… Continue Reading

15 Simple Tips to Save Money on a Wedding

15 Simple Tips to Save Money on a Wedding

A wedding is one of the most expensive life events—if not the most expensive—for many people. If you’re on a tight budget, even if you’re getting contributions from the bride and/or groom’s parents, figuring out how to pay for everything can seem completely overwhelming. You need a venue for the ceremony and reception, flowers and… Continue Reading

12 Practical Ways for Seniors to Volunteer in Their Community

12 Practical Ways for Seniors to Volunteer in Their Community

Community service is a highly rewarding way to spend your time by helping others, promoting causes you believe in, and enjoying many personal benefits. And it just so happens that retired seniors or those working part time are often looking for beneficial activities to fill their schedules. Volunteering isn’t just great for occupying some time,… Continue Reading

Quick Tips for Successful Phone Interviews to Get an In-Person Meeting

Quick Tips for Successful Phone Interviews to Get an In-Person Meeting

Job openings that attract lots of competing candidates often have a series of interviews to narrow down the applicants in stages. Many times, the first round of interviews is done over the phone to save time for the interviewer, and for interviewees who aren’t a great fit for the position or the company for any… Continue Reading

Important Tips for Self-Care During Times of Hardship

Important Tips for Self-Care During Times of Hardship

Life throws all sorts of struggles our way. Financial troubles, physical or mental health problems, family problems, issues at work or school, traumatic experiences… the list goes on and on. And when we get caught up in these sorts of struggles, it’s really easy to withdraw, feel depressed and hopeless, and stop taking care of… Continue Reading

How to Improve Your Credit Score

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Knowing how to improve your credit score is important because your credit score affects many areas of your life. It plays a significant role in determining your ability to get credit cards and different types of loans (personal, auto, debt consolidation, business, mortgage, etc.), as well as their interest rates and limits. Your credit score… Continue Reading

Quick Tips on How to Get More Physical Activity Through the Day

Quick Tips on How to Get More Physical Activity Through the Day

Everyone knows that getting regular exercise is so important to their physical, mental, and emotional health. But not everyone knows how to fit in a fitness routine. Also, if you’ve been fairly inactive for a while, it can be hard to get moving. If you want to make positive lifestyle changes that include increased physical… Continue Reading

Apartments

About

1-800-955-8771

718 Margaret Square
Winter Park, FL 32789

Telephone: 407-645-2869
Fax: 407-629-4575

SE HABLA ESPANOL

Monday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 8: 00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.
Tranquil Terrace 10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Richmond VA Photography by Reveal Photo | Orlando Web Design by CREATE180 Design