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Health Care & Insurance

Be a Creative Negotiator to Reduce Your Medical Costs

Lighting a fire under a hospital or other medical provider could prompt it to slash a few zeroes from your bill.

Pat Pane, who specializes in medical-claims assistance, says writing to your state's attorney general is a good way of appealing to common sense if a provider is being unreasonable. Another alternative: "Call your local newspaper and say, 'You wouldn't believe the bill I just got.'"

Setting up a payment plan can be a good solution, too, particularly if you work directly with the provider rather than with a collection agency. "A lot of medical providers won't charge you interest on your obligation," says Gail Cunningham, of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. "And they may not report the debt to the credit bureaus."

BACK TO: Save Thousands on Your Medical Bill