medical bills
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FAQ About Medical Bills

 

I have large medical bills and I have no money to pay them. What help can you provide?

The Karis Group's Patient Advocacy service is sold directly to benefit plans and is not offered for sale to consumers. We do not provide funds to pay medical bills, but only work to mediate between patients and providers.

The Karis Group offer a service for consumers called Kare360. Kare360 is available on a subscription basis and provides you with unlimited assistance from our Kare360 Advisors who can answer questions and resolve issues you run into as you interact with the healthcare system, including negotiating medical bills. Visit www.kare360.com to watch the 60 sec "How It Works" video and learn how to become a member.

 

Do you have any helpful links for more information?

There are a number of sites which provide very helpful information on healthcare.  We encourage you to search the internet for what you're looking for or to view our list of helpful links.

 

Do you have any definitions available for all the terms used on medical bills?

We sure do.  Please click here to view a list of definitions we have compiled.

Is there financial assistance available based on a particular medical condition or disease?

You can search for financial assistance that may be available for certain medical conditions or diseases using this customized search we have created:

 


Is there anywhere I can go for help if I am not eligible to send you an application for assistance or if my application is not accepted?

 

For certain individuals and families, the government is often willing to help with medical bills. Your county Medicaid office will be able to answer this question for you. If you dial 1- 800- Medicare and follow the prompts, they can provide the phone number for your local Medicaid office. You can also click here to search via the Medicaid web site or you can contact a local hospital, which sometimes has the information on hand.

I tried to qualify for Medicaid but they said I made too much money and denied me any assistance. Is there something else I can do?

Hospitals sometimes offer charity programs to help people who do not qualify for government assistance. Try contacting the facility where you have medical bills and ask if they offer any charity assistance.

I have medical bills but I make too much money to qualify for hospital programs. What can I do to get my bills reduced?

Sometimes the best thing to do is just ask. Hospitals may, for example, be willing to discount a bill for prompt payment. Ask someone in the billing office if they will discount your bill if you pay in full within 14 days. If a billing clerk refuses to entertain your offers, ask to speak to a supervisor. Persistence pays off.

I don't have any insurance and the hospital has told me that they will not treat me unless I pay in advance . I don't have any money to do that. What can I do?

Ask the hospital if they would be willing to let you make a down payment and then pay the remainder off in monthly installments. If that fails, it never hurts to contact another hospital to price shop. Hospitals frequently have different guidelines for admitting patients. It's also important to note that some hospitals will accept you without insurance if it looks like you will qualify for Medicaid and are in the Medicaid filing process.

I am in between jobs and no longer have health insurance. I looked at getting my own insurance but I can't afford it. Are there any alternatives?

There are a variety of forms of insurance, each with different benefits and pricing. Search the internet for medical discount cards and high deductible insurance plans. You'd be surprised at how much lower policy premiums are if you chose a high deductible. If you have been out of work for at least ninety days and are expecting to incur medical bills, try immediately applying for Medicaid.  You may also have the right to obtain insurance under COBRA, though at a higher premium than you or your employer was paying before.  Ask your former employer or insurance company about the availability of a COBRA policy.

I'm retired and on a fixed income. I can't afford the hundreds of dollars I have to pay every month for my prescriptions. What can I do?

There are a number of prescription discount cards available, which offer significant savings.  Search the internet to find programs that meet your needs.  Over 70 prescription discount cards are available to those who meet certain Medicare qualifications.  Click here to visit the Medicare site and find out more information.

I am being hounded by a collection agency regarding my past due medical bills. Is there anything that can be done to stop this?

Two things to remember here: (1) Don't ignore letters from collection agencies, but instead contact them and try to arrange some type of settlement; or (2) If you can't afford a settlement, try to setup a payment plan that you can afford. Don't agree to pay more each month than you can afford as this will just lead to more problems in the future.  If you feel like a collection agency is being too aggressive and potentially violating the law, look at the FTC's information on debt collection by clicking here. In most circumstances, if you write the collection agency and ask them to stop contacting you, they have to respect your request, though this may exacerbate the situation since you will forced the collection agency to deal with you through the legal system.


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