Medical debt can drain personal finances faster than other life expenses. Many people wonder how they can escape medical debt. Exploring various options for paying off and lowering medical debt may help you start escaping your own medical debt. There are also several ways a lawyer can help you manage medical debt. Talk to a Chattanooga bankruptcy attorney to learn more.
How Medical Debt Starts
Medical debt can sneak up on many people without realizing it. Almost all medical debt starts with medical bills that go unpaid over time. First, the medical provider sends a letter or other notification to the patient with the amount of the bill. A medical bill is deemed past due when the patient does not pay the bill or make a payment plan by a certain time.
There is no defined time that a medical provider has to wait before categorizing a medical bill as past due. This can lead to financial problems for medical facilities if too many past-due bills build up from multiple patients. As a result, some medical professionals will attempt to collect the money through debt collectors.
Debt collectors may reach out to you with letters and phone calls to urge you to pay any unpaid medical bills. Over time, these medical bills start turning into medical debt as interest starts building and penalties are charged for past-due bills. Medical debt can quickly grow as more medical bills accumulate and remain unpaid.
Ways a Lawyer Can Help You Escape Medical Debt
A lawyer can work with you to find protections against creditor harassment for medical debt. Knowing the protections against medical debt collection may help you feel less phased when debt collectors reach out to you. The No Surprises Act may protect you from medical debt from January 2022 onward.
What the No Surprises Act does is prevent patients from receiving unexpected emergency medical service bills for providers they did not realize were out-of-network. When you do not have health insurance, the emergency medical provider must tell you the estimated cost before you receive treatment.
Debt collectors can alert you about unpaid medical debt and can file lawsuits to collect the debt from you. However, debt collectors cannot harass or abuse you in this process. They could be sued by you if they call you too often and use informal tactics like coercion against you.
An experienced lawyer can also help you explore ways to escape medical debt. There are numerous options for escaping medical debt, like negotiating lower payments, medical debt consolidation, Medicaid, and filing for bankruptcy. Reach out to a lawyer to start figuring out what your financial and legal options are today.
Call Tom Bible Law Today
You may not have to deal with medical debt alone. Feel free to call us today at Tom Bible Law at (423) 424-3116 for a consultation about your financial situation. Our experienced team of Tennessee bankruptcy lawyers might be able to help you navigate your medical debt and explore your legal options. We are located in the Tennessee cities of Chattanooga and Tullahoma.