Medical bills are often unexpected, and even with insurance, they can be thousands of dollars. You may have thought that your operation or emergency was covered, but when out-of-network providers participate in your care or an accident and injury happens out of state, it can quickly lead to debt that feels overwhelming. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau found that 19% of households couldn’t afford to pay for medical care immediately.
The good news is that there are multiple ways to eliminate this debt, such as negotiating with the hospital or medical provider, discussing payment plan options, negotiating a settlement or entering into bankruptcy. The option you select may make a difference in your finances well into the future.
Can negotiating help you avoid bankruptcy?
Negotiating with the hospital or your medical provider can sometimes help you avoid bankruptcy, but it may not always be the final solution. Negotiating may help you lower your bills or identify charges that you were double-billed for, but even then, the amount you owe may be more than you can afford.
Some medical facilities won’t negotiate or will only do so when you’re willing to pay a lump sum to cover the debt. If that’s not possible, then bankruptcy may be a better option.
How does bankruptcy help with medical debt?
If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, then your unsecured debt will be eliminated. Some of your assets may be liquidated to help cover the costs in some cases, but there are exemptions to explore with your attorney.
Don’t let medical debt weigh you down. There are options available that may help you eliminate your debt and get back into control of your finances. Our website has more information on bankruptcy and the steps to take to resolve your debts.