Negotiate with hospital administrators to pay less.
Study the Bill
We have a tendency to assume that if a bill says we owe money, we need to pay that amount.
Do Your Research
Know the price of a colonoscopy, emergency room visit, or operation you or a family member had before talking to a hospital administrator.
Pick Up the Phone
Make sure you have your bill, insurance card, and other information handy.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
When calling, ask about prices, says Alexandra Carter, director of Columbia Law School's Mediation Clinic. She wrote "10 Questions to Negotiate Anything" .
Discuss Your Options
When you're broke, ask about alternatives to paying in full. You may have a plan for paying the bill, but there may be others.
Medical forgiveness is "When you're so poor you can't pay your medical b
ills. Verifiable hardships, such as a disability, may qualify for medical bill forgiveness."
Companies like Medgotiate and CoPatient negotiate medical bills for a cu
t of the savings, usually 20% to 30%.