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Facing personal bankruptcy? Try negotiating medical bills

The price of almost anything a person in New Jersey purchases can be negotiated. This is true of cars, real estate and jewelry as well as many, many other items. Sometimes, however, people forget that services can be negotiated as well. Since excessive medical bills are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy, it only makes sense to attempt to have them reduced before taking that step.

Knowledge is one of the best weapons a person can have in his or her arsenal when attempting to negotiate pricing. Determining the average cost for the area in which they live should be one of the first things someone does in this process. They should also investigate how much government agencies pay for similar services. Most of that information should be available online.

The next thing someone should do is examine closely any medical bills they have. It is not uncommon for errors or duplicate charges to occur. If problems are found, request that they be removed immediately and the bill adjusted accordingly.

Look into assistance programs. Many non-profit healthcare facilities offer help paying for the services they offer. Some for-profit hospitals have similar programs. Federal and state assistance may also be available. Check into what is out there -- it could be surprising how much help is there for the asking.

When someone faces a mountain of bills, whether in New Jersey or elsewhere, it can be discouraging and difficult to know where to turn. Negotiating to reduce medical bills can be one way to attempt to make the pile of debt more manageable. If that does not make enough of an impact, personal bankruptcy may be the next logical step.

Source: FOX Business, Don't Pay that Total. How to Negotiate Your Medical Bills, Donna Fuscaldo, Feb. 11, 2014

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