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How to handle a financial medical emergency

As a New Bern area resident, you might believe you have nothing to worry about when it comes to your finances. You have worked hard to stay on top of your financial situation. However, you do not have health insurance and much set aside in savings. Upon your last visit to the doctor, you learned you have a medical condition that requires you to undergo extensive testing and rigorous treatment. 

Medical bills are a common reason many people end up in financial straits. Even those who have health insurance find their benefits cover only a fraction of their medical expenses, causing them to use up their savings and other resources. Now that you have unexpected and long-term medical bills, you are no longer confident in your ability to remain financially afloat. Medical procedures can get quite expensive, and you do not know how you will keep your home, vehicles and continue to pay your monthly financial obligations. Fortunately, there are things you can do to pay your medical expenses and keep your home, cars and other assets. 

Do not throw away your bills 

Review each medical bill you receive for errors. Even a typo, misspelling and missing information can cause insurers to deny claims. Be sure to review the procedures and services listed along with their costs. If you have questions or feel your bills contain erroneous information, call your medical provider and let them know. You can also have a medical advocate work on your behalf to ensure medical providers are not overbilling you. Though you are not relying on health insurance, you are not immune to the impact medical billing errors can have on your situation. 

Get assistance 

Many hospitals and medical care facilities have financial assistance programs available for patients. You might not think you qualify, but you lose nothing in contacting them to learn eligibility and application criteria. Keep in mind there are many local organizations and charities that offer financial assistance to individuals who are experiencing financial hardship because of medical bills. 

Negotiate for better payments 

Use the power of negotiation to your advantage. Health care providers would rather receive some payment instead of none at all. Contact your medical care provider and explain your situation to them. Ask if there is a chance you can negotiate for lower payments and establish a payment plan that works best for you. 

If you find that none of the above solutions work for your situation and that you are falling behind on your financial obligations, you might want to consider filing for bankruptcy. There are stipulations that you should be aware of first. An attorney can help you to learn what they are and if you qualify.

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