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3 options for tackling overwhelming medical debt

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

About 100 million Americans are weighed down by medical debt, compelling families to make difficult compromises. With growing medical costs, you might feel as though you’re drowning with no way out. The struggle can make it challenging to maintain daily life and recover from illness.

Despite this, achieving debt relief is not entirely out of reach. To regain control over your finances, consider the following options.

Analyze your medical bills thoroughly

Unfortunately, health care billing errors are common, so you should take the time to scrutinize yours. You may find discrepancies, such as charges for services you never received.

In some cases, complex billing procedures can make it difficult to detect errors. A patient advocate can be an invaluable resource if you’re struggling to understand your charges. They can examine your bills, identify excessive or incorrect charges, and help you contest them if necessary.

Work out payment plans with providers

Many healthcare providers understand the financial strain of medical bills and may be more sympathetic than you expect. Talk to your provider and be honest about your financial situation. You might be surprised to find that they are willing to offer significant discounts or set up a manageable payment plan for you, possibly with zero interest. There may also be financial assistance programs available to help you.

Explore bankruptcy as a solution

Filing for bankruptcy carries a stigma, but it can provide immediate relief. There are two primary types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. The most appropriate choice will depend on your specific financial circumstances.

Chapter 7 may allow you to discharge most debts through liquidation, but you must meet specific criteria to be eligible. On the other hand, Chapter 13 enables you to establish a three to five-year repayment plan based on what you can afford.

While bankruptcy can offer you a fresh start, it also has some consequences. A bankruptcy attorney can help you understand whether it is suitable for your situation.

Dealing with medical debt is undoubtedly stressful, but knowing there are options available can provide significant relief.