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Negotiating medical debt may reduce what is owed

Whether it is due to a serious disease such as cancer, or even a welcomed condition such as pregnancy, it is the unfortunate fact that many people in Lisle will find themselves facing medical debt that they simply cannot pay back. And once that debt goes to collections, many debtors may fear further consequences, such as losing their home or having other property repossessed due to unpaid medical debt.

Unlike normal expenses in which one knows what they owe prior to purchase, when it comes to medical expenses, people receive the medical care and then later on find out how much they owe. However, what they may not know is that the amount they owe on medical debt need not be fixed.

For example, a debtor can enlist the help of a professional debt negotiator. Doing so might reduce the amount of debt by 50 percent. In addition, some hospitals provide patients who cannot afford care with financial assistance. However, a debtor will need to notify the hospital early on that they cannot afford their bills, before the bills are sent to collections. It may also be possible for debtors to negotiate directly with the health care facilities themselves to lower the amount of the medical bill at issue.

If all these steps fail, and a person is still facing unmanageable medical debt, they may want to contact a bankruptcy attorney. While sometimes a person can negotiate a lower debt, this may not be enough to keep them afloat financially. When this happens, they may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Through the bankruptcy process it may be possible to have one's debts wiped out entirely, so the person can start anew financially. There are many options to consider when facing medical debt, and for some, bankruptcy is the best way to address their debts in a responsible and beneficial manner.

Source: Forbes, "Medical Debt Demystified (What You Owe Isn't Necessarily What You Owe)," Peter Ubel, May 5, 2017

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