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wintermoth:

aquadraco20:

pyroteknich:

mycatisabunny:

I feel like I should make a post about this because it’s not something that’s very well-known, and that Americans in particular may need to know about given the uncertain state of our healthcare system at the moment. I’ve wanted to write this out for a while, It’s kind of a long post, so sorry about that!

If you have an emergency and have to go to the hospital, you’ll owe the hospital a lot of money.
(I got into a car wreck and broke my ankle and my arm. My hospital bill was around $20,000)

You’ll also owe the ambulance provider, if you need one.
(My ambulance bill was about $800)

You may get separate bills from the anesthesiologist or surgeon.
(My anesthesiologist bill was $1,700)

You may need follow-up appointments.
(My orthopedic surgeon billed me for the appointments and his surgery together and it was about $1,000)

You’ve also got to pay for medical equipment you need afterward, like crutches or a walking boot.
(Mine cost about $75)

Altogether, I ended up with almost $24,000 in medical debt from one car accident. That’s a really scary number for someone like me who makes $10/hr at a 12 hour a week job.

I got my debt down to $1075 by making some phone calls and submitting some paperwork.

The first thing I did was contact the hospital. They don’t make it easy to find, but many hospitals (perhaps most hospitals?) have financial assistance programs for people who can’t afford medical bills. I don’t make a lot of money, and I have bills to pay, so they were able to help me.
I called the billing department and asked if they had any assistance programs for low income people who can’t pay their bills. I had to call multiple times, and I got transferred in circles by people who didn’t know what I was talking about. Finally, I got an appointment with someone in “Eligibility Services” (I don’t know what other hospitals call it, if it’s something different). I had to bring my pay stubs and copies of all of my bills. When I got to the hospital for the appointment, nobody knew what I was talking about so I had to wander a little to find where I needed to go. I spoke with the guy in Eligibility Services, and I waited for a decision on how much of the bill they would forgive. A month later, I got a call telling me it was totally forgiven.

I did the same thing for my ambulance bill and my anesthesiologist, but the process was a LOT easier. I just had to mail some paperwork and it was totally forgiven.

I didn’t bother with the medical equipment suppliers, since the bills came from separate companies and I didn’t feel like going through the process twice for $75. I was assured at the hospital that they had similar programs for debt forgiveness, so I could have probably avoided paying that too.

The only thing I couldn’t get taken care of was the surgeon/follow-up appointment cost, but they were able to put me on a no-interest payment plan.

Medical debt is scary because it’s something that can come from stuff that’s already really scary. I didn’t need the burden of $24,000 in debt on top of trying to get around on a crutch with a broken arm (it’s not easy, believe me!).. but I can’t imagine what it would be like with a bigger debt or a more severe medical emergency.
I see lots of people in even worse trouble than I was in, both financially and medically. Please know that there are options for you when that GoFundMe doesn’t do enough. Even if your income is higher than mine, it’s worth a shot even for partial debt forgiveness.

I am about 900% sure there are people who don`the know this. 

PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU LIVE IN AMERICA AND HAVE MEDICAL BILLS

I had to do this once as well and I can ABSOLUTELY confirm that this is true.

Get in contact with the hospital. Don’t just…sit there and let the anxiety grow and panic and then ignore it in an effort to find peace.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl