If you say nothing, and pay nothing, you will eventually end up in collections. If you call the office and explain your financial situation, most places will let you set up a payment plan.
New York, NY (PRWEB) March 26, 2013
RoadFish.com men’s lifestyle and finance magazine today issued their observations regarding Fox Business’ article about medical bills and credit reports. RoadFish.com dished out suggestions and advice based on experience about how to avoid having one’s medical bill wind up in the hands of a collections agency and therefore, on their credit report.
Sally Herigstad of Fox Business wrote an article in answer to the question of whether or not medical bills are reported on credit reports. In short, Herigstad’s answer was that if money is owed to a doctor’s office or hospital it will not automatically be reported to the credit bureaus. It is only after bills are unpaid for quite some time and become turned over to a collections agency that it will turn up on a credit report. Becky Walzak, an expert in loan quality assurance, is quoted within the article as saying, “Frankly, we see a lot of medical bills on credit reports.”
RoadFish.com had some sage advice to offer consumers who have received medical bills and do not wish for those bills to wind up on their credit report. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer is quoted as saying, “I can completely see how hefty medical bills can financially devastate families or an individual. But as somebody who works in the medical field, and sees patients on a regular basis, it’s important that one of the first things you should do if you receive a large bill that you cannot pay up front is to communicate with the doctor’s office or hospital. If you say nothing, and pay nothing, you will eventually end up in collections. If you call the office and explain your financial situation, most places will let you set up a payment plan. I’ve honestly even seen times where one phone call has saved a person from being sent to collections. The office hadn’t heard from this patient in months, and were about to send her in when she called and promised to make a payment the following week, when she got paid. She’s lucky to have caught it in time, but point being is don’t fall out of communication because that’s when you get into trouble.”
Herigstad points out in the above-mentioned article that many times, patients challenge medical bills and in the time they are waiting for the insurance to pay, it may wind up on their credit report. She recommends for patients who have a good-sized bill in question to notify the medical provider and insurance company as well as the credit bureaus of the issue. She also recommends that consumers pull their free credit score report each year to keep an eye on negative items and add statements of explanation if needed.
RoadFish.com recommends setting up a payment plan to get medical bills paid off without the case ever making it to collections, or a credit report. RoadFish.com’s Senior staff writer suggests, “Make the payments something you can afford but try to make it them sizeable as you can. $10 a month on a $600 bill isn’t going to exactly cut it, you know? I’m not sure many medical offices would agree to that. But I’d be shocked to find an office that wouldn’t allow monthly or even weekly payments. If $25 a week is what you can swing, then pay that. If the office sees you making timely payments, week after week, I can’t imagine your bill would ever see collections.”
RoadFish.com is a men’s online publication that focuses on writing lifestyle and finance articles of interest to men in their 30’s and 40’s. RoadFish.com regularly publishes articles about everything from online dating to hot chicks to good restaurant reviews. RoadFish.com also reports on financial news and advice such as how to reduce and avoid student loans. RoadFish.com is owned and operated by Purpose, Inc.