Article published by : Article Alley on Friday, November 30, 2012

Category : Bankruptcy

Medical Debt and Bankruptcy

The high costs of medical treatment are one of the major reasons that many individuals wind up needing to file for bankruptcy protection. If the illness is significant, it can also lead to people missing work. This lack of income, coupled with expensive care, can make it very easy for someone to have great difficulty with finances.

While these costs can quickly deplete an individual's savings, there are steps that can be taken in an effort to reduce the impact. When a person receives a diagnosis of a serious injury or illness, it could potentially be a good idea to get a second opinion on any surgeries or treatments that doctors feel are necessary. This can help ensure that the expenses that are about to be incurred are the best possible course of treatment.

Once a treatment plan has been decided upon, speak to the doctor or hospital about any payment plans that may be available. Often, medical professionals will have some type of payment system in place, and this can help an individual from having to pay the complete costs of his or her treatment at one time.

If a person falls behind on medical bills, there are steps that he or she can take to help minimize the potential consequences. Do not ignore the warnings from billing companies about past due bills. Hospitals or doctors will work with collection agencies to recover this amount, and if this is not addressed, significant penalties may be imposed. This can make it much more difficult to repay the amounts that are owed.

Patients should check hospital or doctor bills to insure that they are not being double-billed or overcharged for procedures that have been performed. Often, treatments will cost an individual more than they will cost an insurance company. This could allow the individual to negotiate lower amounts with hospitals or physicians.

However, if this does not seem to work or end the financial struggles, bankruptcy may be an option. Once an individual files for bankruptcy, an automatic stay goes into effect, which means collection actions must stop. This will allow an opportunity to decide a plan that will allow for a sound financial future.

No matter if it is medical bills, high credit card debt, excessive mortgage payments or any other reason that is making it difficult to make ends meet, speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney to understand the options that may be available. Each situation will be different, and it is important to discuss your next steps as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the debts will continue to add up, and some options may no longer be available to you.

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