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Take these steps if you can’t pay your medical bills

There is no worse feeling than receiving a costly medical bill in the mail. Furthermore, your stress can worsen if you come to find that you are unable to pay the bill on time and in full.

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take if you are unable to pay your medical bills:

-- Don't put it on the backburner. Even if you are unable to afford the bill, you should contact the provider to discuss your options.

-- Check for errors. From double billing to services that you did not receive, you may find one or more error on your bill.

-- Negotiate. At some point, sooner rather than later, you need to reach out to the provider to negotiate the bill. You may find that they are willing to accept a lower payment if you pay in full.

-- Discuss assistance programs. There are many financial assistance programs available, so you should talk to your hospital or doctor's office about this. You may find that this is the best way to save money.

-- Negotiate once again. If your first negotiation fails, don't hesitate to revisit this idea in the future. When doing so, talk to somebody else.

When you take these steps, you may be able to alleviate some of the stress associated with your medical bills.

If you're facing serious trouble and have no way out, don't hesitate to learn more about other debt relief strategies, such as bankruptcy. This may be the best way to eliminate your debt and obtain a fresh start.

Source: U.S. News, "What to Do When You Can't Pay Medical Bills," accessed May 24, 2017

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