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Negotiating your medical debt before it happens

Everybody knows the best-selling book by Donald Trump, "The Art of the Deal." Well, you can be a deal-maker, too, when it comes to your medical bills, and it certainly pays in the long run. Anything you can do to lower the cost of your medical care will reduce the amount of your medical debt and prevent a bankruptcy later.

Most Pennsylvania residents simply accept the prices that their doctors give them for medical procedures. It's as if Americans have become accustomed to astronomical prices for medical procedures. But, really, are those prices fair? If you think about how much you make an hour at your job, and then consider how much your doctor is charging for a 15-minute procedure or consultation, you may have more motivation to haggle with your medical providers.

First, before you call to arrange a medical procedure, you need to do a little bit of research on how much the procedure usually costs. Look it up on the Internet, call your insurance company and make sure to speak with multiple physicians or medical facilities while pricing it out.

Second, when you have an idea of the average price, call your medical provider and use that price as a benchmark for making your deal.

Third, make sure you get your procedure performed by a doctor or medical facility with a good reputation while still trying to get the lowest price you can get.

Fourth, you may also be able to negotiate a lower price by informing the medical provider that you do not have insurance and/or that you are willing to pay upfront in cash.

By shopping around and negotiating, Pennsylvania residents may be surprised by how much money they can save on their medical bills. They may also be able to circumvent the need for bankruptcy proceedings by keeping their medical bills down to a more manageable level.

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