Sometimes people may be ashamed of their medical bills. They see it as a personal failure if they can’t pay them. But most of the time, medical bills are unavoidable and can’t be helped.

People may even forego the care they need because they are unable to pay their medical bills. If the bills are high enough, medical bills can cause struggles for individuals and families for years to come.

But medical debt is not a personal failure and is much more common than you think. Millions of Americans struggle with medical debt, and the numbers are rising all the time.

What will happen if you are unable to pay your medical bills? What if you have no way of paying it on time? There are some key things you need to be sure to do.

Understand That It’s a Process

You need to understand that having medical bills that you aren’t able to pay will not be an easy or quick process. You need to know that it will take time and effort to get this resolved. So be patient.

However, it would be best if you didn’t ignore the bills. It would help if you took the time to gather all information and make sure the invoices are correct, but then it is time to take action.

Get Medical Bills Organized

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t understand the bills. You may have a friend or family member that can help you get on track.

Make sure you keep all the bills, and if you’re missing one, call and ask for a replacement bill.

Review each statement carefully to make sure they are correct. If there are mistakes, call the provider immediately to get it corrected.

Negotiate You Medical Debt

You can negotiate! Try to get the bill lowered. It may be better to set up a face to face meeting with the billing department. This way, you can go over each charge to see if there’s a chance to have it lowered or dismissed altogether.

Also, if you can make a large payment at the beginning, you may be able to get the balance lowered or even dismissed.

All of this takes extra time and energy, but if you can get your bill dismissed, it will be worth it.

You are not the first person to struggle with a medical bill, and you won’t be the last. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.

Get Professional Help

If your medical provider isn’t willing to work with you, you may need to seek professional help. You could hire a medical billing advocate or a claims assistance specialist. It might seem crazy to spend more money to hire someone to help you, but it could end up saving you much more than you spend.

These people are professionals and will be to review your medical bills and insurance policies to ensure that no mistakes have been made. They will be sure that you haven’t been overcharged. They may even be able to get you a significant reduction in your overall bill.

Getting help is an option you can use if you have done all you can on your own, and there is no way you can pay the medical bills.

Ask Family or Friends for Help

Don’t be too embarrassed to ask for help. I’m sure if you could help a friend or family member, you would want them to come to you in a time of need. They feel the same about you and will do all they can to help you.

They may have suggestions on what you can do to make your bills more affordable. They may work in health care and have strategies to lower the bills. They may have been where you are before and learned how to deal with outrageous medical bills.

Plan Ahead

You may not have medical bills now, but it is always smart to plan. Having an emergency fund can come in handy if you are in this situation in the future.

Unexpected expenses can arise out of nowhere. Medical bills or other unexpected bills can catch you by surprise. Having a fund saved for a rainy day will help take some of the stress and worry off of your shoulders.

If you follow some of the advice here, you should be ready to start addressing your medical bills. The main thing is not to feel ashamed and not be scared to ask for help. Remember that you’re not alone. At Law Zebra, our network of experienced consumer rights attorneys want to walk you through the steps needed to get out of medical debt. Contact us for help.