Can bankruptcy help you resolve your medical debt?

Medical debt has become a large problem for many people but there are several options that may help, including bankruptcy.

One of the most expensive services that people in Ohio face is medical care. People who have been to the doctor, or have had to undergo a surgical procedure, are only too aware that within a matter of minutes or hours, they can find themselves owing hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Medical care and budgets

The New York Times states that a new survey shows the impact rising health costs and fewer deductibles within health insurance plans have on the general population. People report that they have lost homes, vehicles, taken on multiple jobs, cut out other expenses, taken in boarders, or are living with friends and family in order to try to survive. Additionally, regardless of how much money people were earning from a regular job, there is an emerging trend of borrowing money from friends or seeking help from charities.

Part of the problem is that insurers are cutting deductibles from their plans and denying claims if the physician who provided care is not on the insurer's list. Adding to the situation is the fact that if people develop a severe illness, their ability to work is limited. The survey found that medical bills were a struggle for 53 percent of uninsured participants and 20 percent of insured participants. The poll looked at people under the age of 65.

Available options

When people find themselves facing unexpected debt from medical care, Kaiser Health News points out that there are some options they can explore. These options include the following:

  • Avoid using a credit card the doctor offers. In fact, due to the high rate of interest, people should not pay their bill with a credit card unless they have no other option.
  • People should make sure that their medical statements are accurate. If they don't agree with an item on the statement, they should verify with the appropriate person and have the item removed.
  • People can and should use cost-sharing subsidies if their insurance plan comes with that option. These are usually associated with online insurance market purchases involving silver plans.
  • Medicare costs are often less expensive and some doctors may be willing to give private insured people the same price if they ask.
  • Honesty with health providers can sometimes help people manage their medical debt better. They should let their doctor know about their financial situation and see if they can work out a plan that lets them gradually pay for the care they are receiving.

Of course, if all options fail, then people can choose to escape their mountain of medical debt by filing bankruptcy.

How bankruptcy can help

Many people in Cincinnati wait till the last possible moment to seek bankruptcy protection, but filing sooner can help people work out a payment plan to meet their obligations or get a fresh financial start depending on the type of bankruptcy they are filing. It can put a stop to creditor calls and help people retain their retirement savings and home. Therefore, they may find it helpful to meet with an attorney and talk about their situation before it turns desperate.