The medical system in the United States offers access to treatments that can save or improve people’s lives. From cutting-edge cancer care to emergency trauma intervention, the care available can make a big difference for individual patients.
Unfortunately, high standards of care involving well-compensated professionals and modern technology can be prohibitively expensive. Many insurance providers do not cover all of the costs associated with cutting-edge treatment. Patients may leave a hospital overall healthier but saddled with insurmountable personal debt.
The debts generated by medical care have become a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Those struggling with medical debt often experience high levels of stress and could face lasting financial hardship because of the debt collection efforts associated with their medical debts.
Medical creditors are often very aggressive
The companies that run hospitals and modern treatment centers, like infusion clinics, often charge a premium for their services. Patients without robust insurance coverage may not understand that a single surgical procedure or chemotherapy regimen could cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When someone cannot pay those amounts quickly, medical creditors may take aggressive action. They sue people, put liens on their houses or turn their debts over to collection agencies that will call them and potentially take them to court.
Many people feel as though they have no alternative but to file for bankruptcy specifically because of how aggressively medical creditors seek repayment for treatment costs. Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy could help people overcome medical debt if they successfully obtain a discharge.
Filing for bankruptcy can end collection activity and lead to an end of a patient’s obligation to pay for their care.