medialbillsdebt

What is the average % for medical bill settlement?

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I want to settle medical bills and was wondering what the average % is that would work smoothly. I know that at times it takes some back and forth, but I would like to make it work so that I don't have to deal with it. I have bills from 2013, nothing gone to Creport yet. But I really want to get this going and would love to hear from others. Any ideas what level I can start at and if you have been successful in negotiating med bills, please let me know if you have advice from you dealing throughout this process. :D/Thank you!!!!

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Guest usctrojanalum

Need a bit more information to help you here.

Are they doctor bills or facility bills?  Facilities are sometimes easier to negotiate with than doctors. 

Are they self-pay bills? Did you have insurance?

If the answer to the above is no, if the hospital offers charity care - check into it; if the doctor has a hardship application check into that. 

If the bills are a result of a co-insurance or deductible; these are typically harder to negotiate but it's not impossible.

After you get through all of that, I know some negotiating experts argue the one who proposes the first number loses.  I disagree.  I'd start at a ridiculously low number and then work way up. 

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5 hours ago, medialbillsdebt said:

I want to settle medical bills and was wondering what the average % is that would work smoothly.

There is no magic formula that will guarantee the result you want.  Much depends on the type of care, did you use insurance, the amount owed, and type of provider.

5 hours ago, medialbillsdebt said:

Any ideas what level I can start at and if you have been successful in negotiating med bills, please let me know if you have advice from you dealing throughout this process. :D/Thank you!

All you can do is make an offer.

Several problems you may have:  these bills are from 3 years ago.  Once a hospital closes its books on charity care (and they typically exhaust that budget every year) then there are no more funds for other patients.  3 years after the fact it may be too late to apply for it retroactively.  If you had no insurance at the time they may have already applied a charity care discount and not willing to reduce the amount further.  The worst that happens is they say no.

If you did have insurance and this is your out of pocket responsibility then the provider is legally obligated to collect it.  To give you a further discount on that amount is illegal rebating.  Providers have been sued by insurance carriers for doing this.  

All you can do is make an offer and see if they will take it.

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Guest usctrojanalum

Charity care is a write-off; when a hospital awards charity care it's not like they receive money from any "fund," they are straight taking a loss - they offer charity care for favorable tax treatement. 

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30 minutes ago, usctrojanalum said:

Charity care is a write-off; when a hospital awards charity care it's not like they receive money from any "fund," they are straight taking a loss - they offer charity care for favorable tax treatement. 

Not exactly.  I have been in the medical field for 30 years.  What some facilities do is put an actual cash amount in a special account specifically for charity care others designate an amount annually from the budget.  Either way once that amount is exhausted THEN they start writing off care as a loss but are not legally required to in many states.   It isn't always a loss automatically though many incorrectly assume it is.  Often they apply a major deduction in the cost but if the patient does not economically qualify for a full write off of the care they may still owe money to the facility despite being given a charity discount.  

Absent state laws that require them to handle uninsured or indigent patients in a specific manner they do not have to simply write off the care because of an inability to pay.  

The problem is the OP has waited 3 years to ask and the hospital is not necessarily required to apply it retroactively and the patient may still be required to prove their economic disadvantage at the time the care was received.  Many can't do that lacking the documentation.  Add to that we don't know what kind of care this is.  While hospitals do offer charity care individual providers and clinics do not.  

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