When your bill for health care comes in the mail, you may just find yourself sitting at the kitchen table, shaking your head, knowing you’ll never be able to pay it off all on your own. This type of debt often buries people, and it can be hard to get out from under it.

However, some experts have noted that you can often negotiate your bill. If you speak up, rather than just accepting it for what it is, you may be able to reduce what you owe to something more doable.

One doctor even said that she was more than willing to work with people who asked, noting that the majority of the people she saw never did. Some have said this is one of the biggest mistakes that patients can make in their lives. They are either too nervous to speak up or don’t know that negotiations are possible.

Discounts vary, of course. The doctor referenced above said that she’d agree to drop the total for someone who could pay it all off up front. While this does mean you’d need potential substantial funds at first, it also reduces the total debt.

It’s also been noted that people should ask in advance about the costs, rather than blindly agreeing to treatment. This could help them find alternatives that don’t cost as much.

Remember, your doctor is not going to ask you if you want a discount. You need to speak up. Be sure you really know all of the options you have when it comes to medical debt in Florida so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by what you owe.

Source: Deseret News, “Want to cut your health care bill? Speak up and negotiate with your providers,” Jeff Wuorio, May 18, 2016