Medical debt can build up fast after only a few medical appointments. Sometimes even one medical problem can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. Many people feel like bankruptcy is the only way out but there are several other ways to navigate medical debt that may help. Talk to a Kingsport bankruptcy attorney about what legal options you may have.
Common Medical Debt Fears and Legal Protections
Many people fear medical debt for a number of reasons. Debt collector harassment, wage garnishment, and credit score damage are common fears faced by people struggling with falling behind on medical debt. However, not everyone realizes there are medical debt legal protections in place at a federal level.
Non-profit hospitals specifically must not make collection efforts against patients unless they have made efforts to determine financial assistance eligibility. These non-profit hospitals are expected to offer financial assistance that includes free services and discounts. In other words, non-profit hospitals may not always be able to garnish your wages, place liens, reporting to credit reporting agencies.
For-profit hospitals are not regulated in the same way by federal laws. However, individual states, including Delaware, do regulate hospitals according to their own laws. This means that even at-profit hospitals in Delaware are expected to offer financial assistance to patients with lower incomes.
How to Escape Medical Debt Without Bankruptcy
There are several ways to prevent and escape medical debt other than bankruptcy. Exploring ways to prevent medical debt may help you avoid potential financial problems. One of the first steps is to explore the financial benefits of health insurance compared to out-of-pocket discounts.
Some hospitals will offer discounts for paying out-of-pocket for certain medical services. If you use health insurance, knowing what the co-pays and other medical costs will be ahead of time can help you decide whether to go through with the medical service. Check which medical services and providers are covered by health insurance. Making efforts to stay in-network for health insurance can save money.
Keep track of medical service costs by asking how much each service will be before undergoing the service. Knowing the costs will help you budget. Ways to escape medical debt after receiving medical care also revolve around budgeting to prioritize paying medical debt over other monthly expenses. Cut out unnecessary expenses until your medical debt is paid off.
You can also negotiate lower medical debt monthly expenses and the overall amount owed to the medical provider. Medical debt consolidation can be helpful if you used a credit card for medical services because otherwise, medical debt does not incur interest. Double-check any medical bills for double billing, services not provided, and coding mistakes. Correct these with the provider to lower your debt.
Contact Tom Bible Law Today
Dealing with high medical bills can make escaping medical debt feel impossible. Start by calling us at Tom Bible Law by dialing (423) 424-3116 for a consultation today about your financial options. Our legal team of Tennessee bankruptcy lawyers can work with you to help you navigate your legal options related to escaping medical debt. We are located throughout the Tennessee cities of Chattanooga, Kingsport, and Tullahoma.