As Medical Bills Contribute to 50% of U.S. Foreclosures, CreditFYI Shares 5 Tactics for Managing Medical Debt

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Consumers can take action to minimize chances of being overbilled, double-billed or billed for expenses they didn't incur.

Many people are just a diagnosis away from financial disaster. Even for those fortunate enough to have health insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket expenses for hospital stays, surgeries, doctors' visits and lab tests -- not to mention time away from work -- can quickly balloon into unmanageable proportions.

ccording to a July 23, 2009, study by The Commonwealth Fund*, medical bills play a major role in fully half of all U.S. foreclosures. CreditFYI, an educational consumer website on consumer credit, personal finance and fraud, offers the following 5 specific actions consumers can take to minimize their chances of being overbilled, double-billed or billed for expenses they didn't incur possibly resulting in the medical debt.

Tips to Manage Medical Bills

1.    Be an informed policyholder. Know exactly what your health plan covers -- and what it doesn't.
2.    Don't be shy about negotiating a discount with your doctors for any expenses not covered by your plan.
3.    Request an itemized medical bill for hospital stays.
4.    If you're facing extensive treatment, consider hiring a strong medical billing advocate who can act as your liaison with healthcare providers.
5.    Avoid using a credit card to pay medical debt. A high-interest credit card can send your overall cost of care soaring.

According to CreditFYI spokesperson, Rob Wyse, "Many people are just a diagnosis away from financial disaster. Even for those fortunate enough to have health insurance coverage, the out-of-pocket expenses for hospital stays, surgeries, doctors' visits and lab tests -- not to mention time away from work -- can quickly balloon into unmanageable proportions."

Medical debt can be especially hard on those who suffer chronic medical conditions, such as the 15 million-plus Americans who have Type 2 diabetes. That's just one more reason to manage your medical debt as proactively as you manage your financial household, according to Wyse.

To read the full story, visit Manage Your Medical Bills and Debt.

About CreditFYI.com

CreditFYI.com is a leading educational consumer website on consumer credit, personal finance and fraud. For more information, visit http://www.creditfyi.com.

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Anita Buchanan

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