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What’s the best way to pay down medical debt?

You hope that it never happens to you, but it's not out of the question that you could one day find yourself saddled with an enormous amount of medical debt. This can happen even if you have a comprehensive health insurance policy.

If you find yourself in this position, there are several steps you can take:

  • Opt for a payment plan: Rather than attempt to pay all the debt at once, you should consider the benefits of a payment plan. This allows you to eliminate your debt by making small payments over the course of a longer period.
  • Turn to your emergency account: If you have an emergency account, you may be able to access enough cash to eliminate your debt before it begins to impact your life.
  • Negotiate with the provider: This is easier said than done, but it's not out of the question. Don't hesitate to contact your provider, tell them about your situation and negotiate with them. For example, if you can pay 75 percent of your bill right now, the provider may agree to write off the other 25 percent. For them, it may be better than the risk of you not paying at all.

Paying down medical debt is not always easy, but there are steps you can take to get on the right track.

If none of these strategies will work for you, it may be time to learn more about bankruptcy. Through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 it's possible to eliminate some or all of your debt, including that associated with medical bills.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "Need Help Paying Medical Debt? Here Are Your Options," accessed March 16, 2018

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