Hospital Debt Relief

The 3 best ways to get relief from Hospital Debt is to:

  1. Negotiate a reduction of the debt.
  2. Get on an extended payment plan.
  3. File for Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy relief

Can I go to Jail for not paying a medical bill?

  • No

What happens if I can’t pay?

  • Consider Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy relief.

Can I negotiate the bills?  

  • Yes!

How can I get rid of medical bills?

  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the best option

Hospital debt is one of the most common reasons people struggle with money, and the frightening thing is it can happen to anyone. Though many debt issues are within the control of the debtor, at least initially, medical debt usually arises from a health emergency or unexpected illness. And since nobody makes the choice to become injured or ill, incurring medical debt is beyond anyone’s control – even if they do make an effort to have health insurance coverage.

Sadly, many people choose to forgo medical care because they are worried about affording the cost. If you’ve ever put off a visit to the doctor because you didn’t want to deal with the astronomical bill that accompanies your visit, you aren’t alone. But in the case of hospital debt, whether or not you seek medical attention is often beyond your control.

Spending time in a hospital is usually the result of an unanticipated event or illness that needs immediate medical attention, so you’re not able to postpone your visit until you’re financially able to deal with it. In an instant, a health issue can send you to the hospital and leave you with tens of thousands of dollars or more in hospital debt.

Despite not having a choice in whether or not you incur hospital debt, there are a few things you can do to make your situation better. If you’re faced with an unavoidable medical issue that leaves you with a large hospital bill, financial experts recommend you:

Don’t Avoid the Situation

As tempting as it might be to look the other way when the hospital bills arrive in the mail, this strategy isn’t going to do you any good in the long run. You’ll eventually begin receiving telephone calls and if you ignore the debt long enough, bill collectors will alert the credit reporting agencies. They even have the ability to take legal action against you regarding the debt, which can result in your wages being garnished for payment or a lien being placed against your home.

No matter your situation or how much your hospital bill might be, you should never just ignore it and hope it goes away – it won’t.

Check the Accuracy of Your Hospital Bill

Now that you’re dealing with your hospital debt head-on, you’ll want to make sure the amount you’re being billed is actually what you owe. Mistakes happen, more often than many hospitals and billing companies are willing to admit, so you need to look over your bills carefully. If there is anything you don’t understand, it’s within your rights to ask questions.

And if you have insurance coverage, you should always double check to make sure a service or treatment isn’t covered by insurance even if you are initially billed for it. When it comes to hospital debt, it’s best to assume the initial bill you receive is incorrect and do all you can to get your obligation reduced.

Arrange a Payment Plan or Settlement

Once you have everything organized and you are sure the amount you’re being billed is what you owe, you can speak to the hospital about arranging a payment plan. Some patients even do this while they are still in the hospital. The sooner you get a payment plan in place the better. Often times, and especially in situations where a patient does not have health insurance coverage, hospital billing departments are willing to work with patients to arrange a reasonable payment plan. They know that by giving patients some flexibility they are more willing to receive payment for services, and avoid the expense and frustration of dealing with debt collection later.

What You Can Do If Hospital Debt is Out of Control

Another option for dealing with hospital debt that has you feeling overwhelmed and desperate is to file for bankruptcy.

Hospital bills and medical debt has driven many people beyond their financial means and led them to take serious action to deal with the problem. As a matter of fact, medical debt is one of the primary reasons people file for bankruptcy.

Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you get a repayment plan in place for hospital debt and other bills that make it possible to make payments without losing your home and other assets. Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates your obligation to pay hospital debts completely. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can review your situation and determine whether you qualify for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7, and help you decide which of the two options is best for you.

An unexpected medical emergency that sends you or a loved one to the hospital can be one of the worst experiences of your life. And unfortunately, even if your medical situation turns out for the best and you’re able to heal from your illness or injury, the debt that occurs because of the hospital visit can leave you feeling worse than ever. The good news is you have options and you don’t need to spend the rest of your life dealing with hospital debt.

For more information or to speak to someone about how you can deal with hospital debt, contact us at 1.800.220.4318.

Mike Weston is a seasoned debt lawsuit defense attorney and founder of Weston Legal. Since 2005, Mike has devoted his career to compassionately helping consumers struggling with issues involving their personal and business debts. Mike is grateful to have been able to help tens of thousands of clients become empowered with knowledge on the path to financial stability.

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