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When health suffers, finances go on life support

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Even adults who do not contract COVID-19 are facing a healthcare crisis. A Debt.com survey of more than 1,000 American adults reveals 56 percent of respondents had medical debt sent to collections and nearly two-thirds owed under $5,000, while 5 percent owed over $50,000. 

According to respondents, hospitalization accounts for a quarter of the medical debt. The next three causes are:

  • Diagnostic test (X-rays, MRIs, lab fees) – 22 percent
  • Emergency room visits – 19 percent
  • Doctor visits – 15 percent

“We often hear horror stories about chronic conditions or complicated surgical procedures that drive up medical bills to shocking levels,” notes Debt.com president Don Silvestri. “This survey shows that even smaller amounts can overwhelm your income and savings. The result is a debt collector pursuing you.” Very few Americans know that there are experts who can help them deal with medical debt negotiations and collectors.

Surprisingly, 60 percent of respondents didn’t try to negotiate medical debt payments or their bill, whereas nearly 35 percent did negotiate on their own. Just under 5 percent used a medical billing advocate.

Debt.com advises asking these five questions if medical debt is sent to collections:

  • Can the collection agency verify the debt?
  • Can I dispute the debt?
  • Is the debt outside the statute of limitations?
  • Can I stop medical debt from hurting my credit?
  • Can I work out a settlement or payment plan?

“Just like every other form of debt, there are professionals who can help you,” Silvestri says. “Whether it’s credit cards, student loans, or medical bills, not consulting a pro can literally cost you.”

About: Debt.com is the consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers ‘when life happens’.

SOURCE Debt.com

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Credit Card Deal: American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

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If the pandemic has had a lasting effect on your spending habits, then it’s likely that you eat in more often, and spend more time cooking at home and watching television. If there’s one credit card that’s suited to this lifestyle, it’s the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, which is now offering new applicants the opportunity to earn up to $350 in cash back. Terms Apply.

How this card works

New applicants of the Blue Cash Preferred® card can earn $150 in cash back after spending $3,000 on purchases within six months of account opening. You’ll also earn 20% back on all your Amazon.com purchases within six months of account opening. This cash back is limited to your first $1,000 in purchases, which means that you can earn up to $200 cash back (for a combined total of $350 back). The cash back will come in the form of a statement credit that reduces your balance, so you won’t need to redeem any rewards or be concerned with points that can expire.

This card also offers some of the highest rates of cash back that you can earn from a credit card, including a whopping 6% back (on up to $6,000 spent per year) at U.S. supermarkets (worth up to $360 per year). You also earn unlimited 6% cash back for purchases from dozens of select U.S. streaming subscriptions including Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Music Unlimited and Disney+. Furthermore, you’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit purchases including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses (and more), plus earn 1% back on all other purchases.

What does it cost?

This card has a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived the first year. The card also offers new applicants 12 months of 0% intro APR on new purchases, then a variable rate 13.99% – 23.99% applies.

Bottom line

If you’re going to sit at home, cook and watch TV, you might as well earn as much cash back as possible. By taking a closer look at the American Express Blue Cash Preferred, you might find that you’re eligible for more cash back than you ever thought possible.

See Rates & Fees for Blue Cash Preferred by American Express.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer

A credit repair company could improve your chances of getting approved.

Credit Repair companies, like Credit Saint, specialize in finding and helping you remove mistakes on your report to help you improve your credit.

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