Guide to Paying Hospital Bills
If you’re into saving money and investing, you probably are like us and have a High Deductible Health Plan with a HSA in order to maximize your retirement savings. These health insurance plans can get terrible when you actually go to a doctor, so we hit our Max Out of Pocket every year. I’ve found out how to get the bills lower from our local hospitals, here’s how.
Health First is the main hospital in Brevard County. When they send your bill, they will not negotiate the dollar amount down, however, they will let you pay it off over 28 months. Our deductible is $7,000, so every January they send us bills that add up to $7k, and we have the option to pay them $250 a month for the next 28 months. They will not let you negotiate a lower amount.
However, if you do not pay the bill for 6 months or more, Health First will send you to collections. This is what I prefer. Collections calls and asks you to pay the bill, and you can ask for a negotiated, or discounted, rate for paying in full. They usually discount 25%, but sometimes 30%. This knocks the bill down to $5,250 or so, an almost $1,800 savings. And you also have 6 months or more to save up for it.
You can drop that payment on a credit card with high cash back, or one you’re working towards and minimum spend on. Just make sure you pay the card off monthly, or else this will cost you much more!
You might have heard collections is bad, but collections is only bad IF YOU DON’T PAY IT. Pay it when it goes to collections, or your credit will get wrecked. Or if you don’t care about your credit anymore, free hospital bills, but I don’t recommend that.
I’ve found this works for Health First and Brevard Physicians Associates, which is some doctor who we don’t even know who it is, has an address in Atlanta (not Florida), and has never answered any of my dozens of phone calls. And Brevard Physicians Associates just sends bills straight to collections, doesn’t even send us bills. Health care is a racket in America, but these are my tips to spend a little less at the doctor.