Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
There is a cure for handling medical debt
The three most common reason consumers file for bankruptcy on Long Island are divorce, loss of a job, and illness.
Un-reimbursed medical debts caused by serious health issues can be overwhelming. Even the medical insurance co-pays can become incredibly costly. And many Long Islanders do not even have sufficient health insurance.
The financial burden of health care on Long Island can definitely challenge your finances. Fortunately, consumers have some options.
Working Out a Payment Arrangement with the Hospital
Many hospitals have special payment arrangements for qualifying low-income individuals. In some cases, hospitals may even consider waiving some of the bill. Hospitals will often give special reductions to anyone who is below 300% of the federal poverty level.
Charitable Hospitals Often Have Special Programs
Many hospitals on Long Island are affiliated with charities. These nonprofit religious and charity-oriented hospitals have special care programs that pick up all or part of the cost of care for indigent or special needs families. Sometimes all it takes is simple phone call to the hospital administrator to find out about these programs.
Negotiating Medical Debt
Law firms such as ours that specialize in debt relief can negotiate on your behalf to reduce the balance. Frequently, you can reduce medical debts substantially.
Eliminating Medical Debt with Bankruptcy
Even when medical insurance covers most medical expenses, the loss of income from dealing with family illness can strain a person’s finances. When you or a loved one have suffered from an illness, that has left you with medical bills, doctor bills, hospital charges, or any other type of medical debt, you often have the option to resolve those bills in bankruptcy.
In bankruptcy proceedings, medical debt is the same type of unsecured debt as credit card debt. For those who are eligible to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all unsecured debt can be totally eliminated.
In those cases where Chapter 7 is not a possibility, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy often forces unsecured creditors like medical providers, hospitals, and doctors to accept pennies on the dollar.
Last month, I wrote a post about a new bill that was introduced into Congress which is designed to provide a special safety net for individuals who are in a financial crisis due to a personal or family medical debts. See my post about the Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act .
Don’t Ignore Medical Bills
Medical debt is still debt that doctors and hospitals will aggressively seek to collect by suing you. If you ignore medical bills, then it is often a question of time before you will be sued.
However, just like there are cures for illness, there are cures for overwhelming medical debt. Our Long Island bankruptcy lawyers and debt negotiation attorneys help many Long Islanders resolve their medical debts.
If you have hospital bills, medical bills, doctor bills, medical collections, or any other debt problems, don’t wait until you lose everything before you get financial help. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.