¿PREFIERES ESPAÑOL?  Ver el sitio web en español




HomeHealth InsuranceMedical BillsEmployment & Disability
Negotiating and Paying Medical Bills

Be informed guide

Print  Loading Download in PDFLoading Listen
If you get a medical bill that you are unable to pay, it is important not to ignore it. Consider contacting your health care provider to talk about your options.When to Contact Your Health Care Provider
  • It is important not to wait too long to contact your provider about an unpaid medical bill.
  • Contacting your provider before unpaid bills get sent to collection agencies can help protect your credit score.
What You Can Negotiate
More Time
  • If you can’t make a payment by a set due date, you can ask for more time.
A Payment Plan
  • Check with your provider to see if they would be willing to set up a payment plan.
  • The payment plan will allow you to break the bill into multiple payments over a set amount of time, until the bill is fully paid.
  • Make sure to ask for a payment plan that you can actually afford. Otherwise, the provider may offer a plan that could still be a financial burden for you.
A Lower Lump-Sum Payment
  • Some health care providers may accept a lower lump-sum payment if you pay the whole bill at one time.
  • For example, if you owe $5,000 and you can only pay $3,000, you can ask the provider if they will accept the lower payment in a lump-sum and forgive the remaining balance.
Financial Assistance Programs
  • You might qualify for an “ability to pay” or “charity care” program at your health care facility to help you with your medical bills.
  • The IRS requires nonprofit hospitals to give patients a grace period of 240 days from the initial billing date to apply for financial assistance, but hospitals are allowed to send bills to collection agencies earlier than that — often after just 120 days.
  • Many hospitals have a billing department and staff (e.g., patient navigators or financial counselors) who can help you negotiate a bill.
Tips for Paying Medical Bills
Be Careful When Paying Medical Bills
  • Credit cards usually have high interest rates, and you could end up spending more than necessary.
  • Taking a second mortgage on a home, changes the debt from unsecured to secured. If you are unable to pay the mortgage, you may lose your home
Consider Other Options for Financial Help
  • Nonprofit organizations may be available to provide financial assistance to help you pay your medical bills

Learn more

For more financial assistance options, including patient assistance programs, charitable organizations and crowdfunding, see :
Places to Get Help With Medical Costs - Be-Informed Guide

Print  Loading Download in PDFLoading

Disclaimer: The information on this site is intended for U.S. residents only and is provided purely for educational purposes. Health, legal, regulatory, insurance, or financial related-information provided here is not comprehensive and is not intended to provide individual guidance or replace discussions with a healthcare provider, attorney, or other experts. All decisions must be made with your advisers considering your unique situation. © Triage Cancer & Pfizer Inc. 2024 

Copyright © 2024 Pfizer Inc.
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2024 Triage Cancer.
All rights reserved.