What to Do if You Have Medical Debt
Medical treatments are not cheap, and consequently, the high costs associated with medical debt is one of the biggest causes of bankruptcy across the country, including in Georgia. In some situations, even people with insurance can be overwhelmed with debt from medical bills. An experienced debt settlement and bankruptcy attorney like those at Cornwell Law Firm can often help you overcome such difficult financial situations. Below are a few options for handling overwhelming medical bills.
- Double Check Insurance and Billing Errors: Once you receive your medical bill, check it thoroughly for errors. Make sure you were billed for the services you received, and if you think there might be an error, contact the billing department for your provider or the billing company and discuss the possible errors with them. If your insurance company denied a claim for a service that you feel should be covered, contact them to discuss the denial. You have the right to appeal any decisions your insurance company makes.
- Ask for Hospital Financial Assistance: If you are unable to pay for your hospital care, you may be able to qualify for assistance if you meet federal poverty guidelines. Under certain situations, your care may be free, or the cost reduced.
- Negotiate a Payment Plan or Reduction: If you have significant medical bills, but very little debt, a medical provider may be willing to work with you on creating a payment plan. It is possible to ask for a write-down on a medical bill in this situation, as well. This means that you would offer a lesser amount in return for paying the bill all at once rather than through a payment plan.
- Indigent Care in Georgia: In 1990, the state of Georgia implemented a fund that would allow lower-income citizens access to affordable medical care. The program works to provide Medicaid to those in rural areas and to those who are disadvantaged. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for assistance.
- Discharging Medical Debts Through Bankruptcy: Fortunately, medical debt is one of the easiest debts to eliminate during bankruptcy. In most situations, the judge and bankruptcy trustee understand that medical debt is out of the debtor’s control, thus making them more understanding of bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, medical bills can be completely erased because they are unsecured debt. If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will likely be able to make your medical debt more manageable by using Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. This type of bankruptcy will allow you to set up a payment plan to repay the debt over a period of a few years.
Consult with an Experienced Debt Relief Attorney Today
The bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys at Cornwell Law Firm can help you develop a plan to reduce or eliminate your medical debt. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step to get back on your feet financially.