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Has anyone ever negotiated a lower payoff on a hospital or credit card bill? If so what tactic did you use.

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on May. 27, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (3)
  • I've negotiated a lower interest rate on a credit card but not a lower debt amount. When I make a purchase, I promise to pay the money back that was loaned to me to make that purchase. I don't believe that I should be able to keep a $20 pair of shoes and only owe the credit card company $10 for it because I can't afford to keep my promise. JMHO of course. Everyone's situation is different.

    I've negotiated hospital bills though, because hospitals overblow the price of their services purposely due to insurance companies. If a hospital says "a Motrin pill and it's administration by a nurse is worth $5" then insurance company comes back and says "OK, I'll give you $1 for it." To avoid losing money and making a profit, then then say "a Mortin worth $25" at which point they might get negotiated down to $10 (by the insurance companies) and make a profit. (cont.)

    Answer by NovemberLove at 4:53 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • HOWEVER, when it comes to someone that is self-pay, the hospital doesn't go back and charge you only $5 for that Mortin pill. They charge you the same $25 as they charge the insurance company, only the insurance company has the power to negotiate back or only pay their "agreed pricing," YOU don't! It's hardly fair. I let every hospital that I've had to deal with know what I am well aware of how much insurance companies pay for services that that I'm willing to pay no more than what a common insurance company does. It's expensive to pay registrars to send you mail and call you about debt and even more expensive to have a third party collector come after you (oh but they will do it) so if you agree to a discount to pay if off promptly, they're more than likely going to agree. I'd go for as high as 50% off with the agreement that you'll pay within 30-60 days.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 4:56 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • I used the Mortin pill as an example, I don't actually remember how much Mortin costs on average in hospitals lol. It's just to demonstrate how pricing for services can go.

    I worked as a financial counselor for the Emergency Room in the past. Crying, screaming, threatening and telling somone how hard your life is might stress out the hospital employee but it really doesn't increase the chance that the hospital is going to let you out of your bill. Be nice, get the employee on your side and if you agree to pay something, PAY IT PLEASE! An employee going to bat for you when you can't uphold what you've promised can get THEM into trouble.

    You can also ask to speak with a financial counselor, come in with your monlthy bills and ask to apply for hospital charity (different than Medicaid), some hospitals have that into place so that if they can forgive your debt, tax money will reimburse them.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 4:59 PM on May. 27, 2009

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