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Christian Living

Finance

Dave Says: Settlements for Medical Bills

Dave Says
Author Biography

Dear Dave,

Will hospitals take a settlement on past due medical bills, or is this a rare occurrence?

Kristin

Dear Kristin,

It’s not all that rare for hospitals to accept a settlement on past due bills. Most businesses will accept a settlement on past due accounts, and many hospitals will accept a deeply discounted settlement because they’ve usually gotten a big chunk of their money up front from the insurance company.

Let’s say you had a $1,000 bill with a hospital you honestly haven’t been able to pay for several months or even two or three years. If you go to them and offer $300 or $400 as a settlement, there’s a good chance you’ll have a deal. Just make sure you get the agreement in writing before you hand anyone a check.

Remember, you have a moral and legal obligation to pay your debts in full if at all possible. But if you truly can’t afford to pay, an agreed-upon settlement between two parties can be an honorable and acceptable compromise.

—Dave   

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