After a serious illness or injury, many Arkansas residents are left with a lasting reminder of that experience. While some will have scars or lingering physical reminders, many more will face staggering volumes of medical debt. When considering how to address a mountain of medical bills, consumers have a few choices. They can try to negotiate lower rates that would make repayment a possibility, or they can choose to move toward personal bankruptcy.

Negotiation is a powerful tool in reducing overall medical expenses. The power of negotiation is best leveraged prior to having a procedure or treatment done, as this gives the patient the ability to walk away from negotiations and take his or her business elsewhere. Even if the care has already been received, however, there is still a chance to negotiate medical bills down.

The best way to begin is by gathering information on what the standard costs are for each type of care that was provided. This information is available from insurance providers, and there are also numerous websites that can be used to research costs. With this information in hand, consumers can ask that their bills be lowered to reflect the standard cost of care.

It should be noted that in some cases, no amount of negotiation will be sufficient to reduce medical debt to a manageable level. For those Arkansas patients, a more effective approach would be to research the process of personal bankruptcy. No one sets out to file for bankruptcy, just as no one plans for a major medical event. When faced with unmanageable medical debt, bankruptcy offers a path back to financial freedom.

Source:, “Negotiate your medical bills down“, Cameron Huddleston, Jan. 20, 2016