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Health Insurance Basics

Struggling With Medical Bills? These 10 Organizations Can Help

August 27, 2018

If you're struggling to pay medical bills, know that you’re not alone. More than a quarter of adults in the United States struggle to pay their medical bills, and medical debt is the number one source of personal bankruptcy filings in the U.S. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your situation.

Start by checking your medical bills for errors. Ask for an itemized statement from your health care facility to ensure the charges accurately reflect the services you received. You can then cross-check this against your EOB to make sure all the charges line up.

If your bill is error-free, try negotiating with the billing office or debt collector (when necessary). Often, they can provide you with options that make payments more affordable, including interest-free payment plans, overall discounts and financial assistance.

If you’re still finding it tough to cover your costs, here are some places to reach out to for assistance.

  1. Patient Advocate Foundation
    They provide help for patients that includes negotiations related to medical debt issues.

  2. Medicaid
    In addition to prenatal care, Medicaid is a health coverage option for eligible low-income or elderly adults, children, and people with disabilities. It’s funded by the federal and state governments, but administered by the states. Requirements vary from state to state, and you can enroll at any time.

  3. Government Benefits
    Check out to find government benefits to which you may be entitled and that you can easily apply for online.

  4. Free Clinics
    Many communities have free clinics available. See what’s in your area by visiting The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics’ website.

  5. State-Sponsored Programs
    Each state has programs available to assist with medical care, including disease screening and prescription assistance. Check for more information.

  6. Department of Health and Human Services
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can refer you to free community services during pregnancy or for your baby for the first two years. The department also has health centers for a variety of services where you pay only what you can afford.

  7. United Way
    The organization's broad community reach collects a wealth of information about medical assistance programs in your area. It's easy to speak to a referral specialist by dialing 211 or by visiting for more information.

  8. Donated Dental Services (DDS)
    The DDS program offers free dental treatment for the elderly, disabled or medically fragile. Begin by seeing what is available in your state

  9. Pharmaceutical Companies
    Many pharmaceutical companies will offer prescription drug assistance to those who qualify. Start by visiting

  10. Eye Care
    There are a number of eye care resources available, including EyeCare America (volunteers provide eye care to those who qualify) and Vision USA (optometrists provide free eye exams to those who qualify).
Using some of the programs and resources outlined above, you can get help paying medical bills and tackling medical debt.