What options are available to those struggling with medical expenses?
Financial problems can impact even the best planners when they least expect it. Unforeseen events arise and significantly drain any resources available. Because of the most recent recession, many people do not have enough savings to overcome any of these unplanned emergencies.
When an individual experiences health problems, this can often lead to costly medical care and treatments. While many people have health insurance to defray some of the costs that arise, it may not cover all of the expenses associated with the injury or illness. The more serious the condition, the more likely it is that these bills will continue to pile up.
What, then, can individuals do if they find themselves facing financial problems due to medical bills? One of the options that some may consider is to check with other health care providers to learn their prices for certain procedures. If one is substantially less, yet can still deliver the same results, it might be wise to consider the more cost-efficient treatment.
Once the treatment has been provided, it is important to closely monitor any bills that are received. Hospitals and insurance companies are notorious for double-billing or overbilling patients that they treated. Make sure that any bills that paid are for treatments that were actually administered.
If the bills received for these services are still excessive, patients may be able to negotiate lower amounts with hospitals, although this can be difficult. Hospitals may insist that individuals repay their balances in full. If this is the case, some may try to arrange a payment plan. This can allow for payment over time, rather than covering the entire balance all at once. However, once these bills are received, it is important to contact providers as soon as it becomes too difficult to repay the amounts owed. Waiting too long could allow for the creditors to begin collection actions.
Those still unable to make ends meet might want to consider filing for bankruptcy. One of the advantages of filing is that debtors will be protected from collection actions while the process is ongoing. This can provide an individual with valuable time to assess his or her finances, and begin taking steps that ensure a recovery.
If you are struggling with your finances, speak to an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your situation. You may be unsure about the options that are available to you, and it is important to understand the consequences of the decisions that you have to make at this time.
Some people will try to avoid filing for bankruptcy for as long as they possibly can. This ends up only hurting their finances more, and potentially removes some of the avenues that could allow for a faster financial recovery. Working with someone who has handled these matters in the past can help you make the right choices for your financial future.