Medical bills can be astronomical. A medical emergency or chronic illness can cost thousands of dollars. A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the average cost of an emergency room visit in the United States is over $2,000. When critical care or surgery is necessary, it is not uncommon for the bill to total over $20,000.
If you are struggling to pay your or your child’s medical bills, the following are a few options for you to explore:
- Work out a payment plan with the medical provider.
- Negotiate a debt settlement with the medical provider.
- File for bankruptcy protection.
Before falling behind on your medical bills, consider contacting the provider, explain your situation, and see if there is an opportunity to work out a payment plan that you can afford.
Similarly, you may be able to work out a debt settlement with the provider whereby you agree to pay a lump sum that is less than the full amount owed to settle the debt. This option is more likely possible after your medical debt has been sent to a debt collection agency. Be cautious of debt settlement when you can only settle one or two debts, but it will not take care of your medical debt or overall debt problem. Learn more in our article Is Debt Settlement Better Than Bankruptcy?
If you simply cannot afford to pay your medical bills, then it is time to explore if bankruptcy is the right solution for you.
Bankruptcy Can Eliminate Medical Debt
Bankruptcy has the power to eliminate medical debt. After a successful bankruptcy filing, you would no longer be legally liable to pay back the medical bills you incurred prior to the date you filed.
- A Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate all of your medical debt.
- A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can eliminate all of your medical debt, but Chapter 13 requires a three to five year repayment plan, so you may pay back none, all, or a portion of your medical debt.
- Regardless of which chapter of bankruptcy you file, you will no longer owe on medical debt incurred prior to filing your case.
I Cannot Pay My Medical Bills, What Can I Do?
We can help you eliminate medical bills with bankruptcy. If you live in Savannah, GA or the surrounding areas, let’s meet for a free consultation. Please reach out to us at (912) 351-9000 or contact us by filling out this simple web form.
Find out more about being debt free in our guide: All About Debt Relief
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