How to Write a Medical Hardship Letter

Wondering how to write a medical hardship letter? If you've got medical bills that you just can't pay, don't ignore them and wait for bill collectors to begin their relentless pursuit. Write a medical hardship letter and attempt to make a deal with your medical provider; as long as you're making regular payments, most providers are willing to work out a repayment plan with you.

Include all the relevant details.
One of the most important parts of writing an effective medical hardship letter is to include all of the relevant details. Include your contact information, your social security number, any reference or account numbers you have from provider bills, and the date of the procedure. Provide details as to why you can't afford the medical bills; include actual numbers and as much information as possible, instead of a generic "I can't afford to pay." Details give the provider a chance to evaluate your situation, instead of a generic appeal from someone who may actually be able to pay.

Sample medical hardship letter.
Fax number

Re:      Your name
            Your address
            Your social security number
            Account number, reference number, date of procedure, etc.

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to notify you of my inability to pay the above-referenced medical bill for (the procedure) which took place on (date). I have received the enclosed bill (enclose a copy of the documentation that the billing company sent you), but I am unable to pay the bill as outlined. I am not attempting to dispute the charges, nor am I writing to indicate an unwillingness to pay; I'm simply writing to request alternate arrangements for this bill.

My income of (your income amount) is enough to cover my monthly expenses of (expenses) and offset my day-to-day cost of living, but as you can see, my income does not exceed my expenses by the amount of my bill. Therefore, I'm requesting to make payment arrangements that would allow me to pay this bill in full over a period of time consistent with my income and expenses.

I propose the following payment arrangement: (estimate how much you can afford to send in monthly payments, followed by how long it would take you to pay off the bill's balance at that rate). I understand that you are under no obligation to accept this payment arrangement; I'm respectfully requesting that you grant this arrangement or offer me a similar payment plan so that I can satisfy this debt within my current financial limitations.

Thank you for your consideration. If you require any additional information, or supporting documentation for my financial status, please contact me at: (provide your daytime phone number, evening phone number, e-mail address and mailing address).

Your Name

Send your medical hardship letter correctly, and follow up.
You should send your medical hardship letter via registered mail, and request a return receipt for tracking purposes. Give the provider a week or two to consider your request after you receive notification that they've gotten your letter, and then follow up by phone if you don't see return documentation from the provider.

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