Medical bills can be confusing and overwhelming and often come at a time when you’re already in distress. If this sounds like you or a loved one, below is information that can help currently and in the future.
Know Your Rights and Protections
- No Surprises Act
o You should not receive unexpected bills for emergency services received from a health care provider or facility that you didn’t know was out-of-network until you were billed.
o If you don’t have health insurance or if you pay for care without using your health insurance, your provider must give you an estimate of how much your care will cost. After, if the billed amount is $400 or more above the estimate, you may be able to dispute the charges through the patient-provider dispute resolution process.
o Submit a complaint by calling (800) 985-3059 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
- Financial Assistance Options
o Nonprofit hospitals are required by law to offer financial assistance programs, and many other providers are willing to work out payment arrangements.
o Even if your bill is past due and you’re being contacted by a debt collector, you can ask to pause collections while you seek financial help through the nonprofit hospital’s program.
- Debt Collectors
o Understand how debt collectors can communicate with you, your rights in debt collection, and how you can exercise those rights
- Credit Report
o Debt collectors are not permitted to report a medical bill to the credit reporting companies without trying to collect the debt from you first.
o Beginning July 1, 2022, paid medical bills will no longer be included on credit reports. Unpaid bills will be reported only if they have remained unpaid for at least 12 months.
- Avoid Scammers
o Don’t pay a person or a service who promises to keep medical bills off your credit report or to protect you from unexpected out-of-network medical costs.
- Navigating Medical Debt – Informational Webinar
o https://raisetexas.org/action/resources/medical_debt/ (email & zip code required)
For health insurance enrollment support through Foundation Communities, call 512-381-4520 today!
If you would like to talk to a Financial Coach about any financial plans call our Prosper Centers at 737-717-4000 or visit our web site at ProsperFinancialWellness.org.