What is the best way for you to handle your medical debt?

| Feb 14, 2018 | blog |

After needing medical attention, you may feel relieved to know that the issue will no longer bother you or that you at least know the steps you need to take to ensure that you can address your condition properly. However, that relief may prove short lived when you receive the bills associated with your medical procedures, doctor visits, medication or other related expenses. Unfortunately, these costs can easily reach thousands of dollars even after one visit.

Though you, like many other New Jersey residents, may have insurance and even emergency-use funds, you may still find yourself struggling to pay the remaining balances. As a result, you may wonder whether going to the doctor was worth the anxiety and financial hardship you now face. Sadly, you are not alone in this feeling, and many people avoid medical treatment altogether due to the financial burdens it can cause.

Ways to handle medical debt

Finding the best way to handle your particular amount of medical debt can depend greatly on specific details of your situation. Your income level, the amount of money owed, insurance information and other factors could impact your options. In order to find your best option, you may wish to consider the following tips:

  • In a perfect scenario, you could handle your medical expenses by simply paying them off completely. Of course, that option is not always the most feasible route.
  • You need to remember that the bills will not go away. You may think that ignoring notice after notice will eventually cause your debt to somehow disappear, but really, it may only cause you to rack up interest and put a negative mark on your credit report.
  • If the option exists, you may want to discuss creating a payment plan with the hospital or other entity to which you owe money. In many cases, financial assistance programs can help struggling patients spread their payments out to make them more manageable.
  • Reviewing your bills and insurance coverage can also prove beneficial. In some cases, mistakes in paperwork could result in your facing unnecessary costs, and the hospital may deduct mistaken charges or your insurance company may cover an overlooked expense.

If these options do not seem open to you for whatever reason or if they only help slightly, other avenues may exist that could offer you further assistance.

Considering bankruptcy

The thought of filing for bankruptcy may have crossed your mind, but you may have just as quickly pushed the idea away. You, like numerous others, may believe that bankruptcy has more negative impacts than good, but that is not necessarily the case. Bankruptcy may allow you to discharge your substantial medical debt and provide you with a fresh financial start without the unnecessary burden of outstanding medical bills.