How to Deal with Medical Debt
According to a study from the American Journal of Medicine, medical bills caused 62 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007. Notably, 80 percent of all people who filed bankruptcy from medical debt that year had health insurance. Clearly, medical debt can be a major problem in America, and it’s often impossible to predict.
If you find yourself buried under a heap of healthcare-related debt, here are some tips to help you manage it:
- Don’t ignore the bills. The worst possible thing you can do is avoid paying the bills and not take any action at all. Medical providers will not simply forget about your bills — they’ll likely send your account to a collection agency, which could wreak havoc on your credit rating. Pay off the bills if you can, especially the small ones. If you cannot afford to, you still have other options.
- Double-check your insurance coverage. Mistakes occasionally happen in the medical billing process. Make sure your insurance company was billed for the proper service, and follow up with your insurance provider to figure out why it did not pay bills. This could save you a significant amount of money.
- Set up a payment plan. Contact your medical provider if you cannot pay your bills in full, and ask if you can set up a payment plan. If your plan is approved, make sure you pay on time every single month.
- See if you qualify for Medicaid. People with low incomes who cannot afford medical expenses could qualify for federal Medicaid benefits. Call your state office to determine if you qualify and if you can use it to help pay your medical debts.
These are a few of the options you have for dealing with medical debt before filing for bankruptcy protection. For further legal advice, speak with an experienced Chicago attorney at DebtStoppers by calling 800-440-7235 or contacting us online.