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Medical Debt – Part 1

Do you have medical debt?

Medical expenses are a leading cause of debt for Americans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that 1 in 5 U.S. households have medical debt. Even with health insurance, high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses can lead to debt. Debt on credit reports makes it difficult to attain housing, to get credit or find employment. So, what can you do? Ask if treatment is really necessary. Can it wait? How long? Get a document of all costs before anything is done. A second opinion might save you money in the long run. Ask questions until you understand your insurance coverage and deductibles. When medication is needed, know that prices vary between stores. A preferred pharmacy network can provide better prices. Ask your doctor for generics and your pharmacist for any discounts.

Look into Always confirm the accuracy of your bills. Look for common errors like duplicate costs, procedures or medicine you didn’t receive, or something insurance was supposed to cover. It’s possible the explanation of benefits is missing from the bill or that your condition is misrepresented. This is known as upcoding. Negotiate whenever possible. You can usually get a discount for paying in full. Find out what discounts are available. Is there a payment plan? Keep a binder of all your paperwork along with dates and names of people you call, and may the Lord grant you peace as you work to eliminate your medical debt. Or, maybe he’ll use you to bless others as they work on their debt.   

In My newest book, Economic Evidence for God, I lay out the case for finding and walking with the Lord through money management that aligns with Scripture. It’s a better way to think about and manage your finances. You can get the book now at