22 Apr Considering Bankruptcy To Get Rid Of Your Medical Bills? You Are Not Alone! (Part Five Of Five)
In Part Four of this series we saw how low income to moderate income individuals had a much more difficult time affording health care and medical insurance.
There is an expression, “When All You Have Is A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Nail”, and even though I am a bankruptcy attorney, there may be other options when it comes to your medical bills other than filing for bankruptcy?
First, before filing bankruptcy, you might consider negotiating with the health care provider. Research has shown that 58% of those who have contacted a health care provider seeking to negotiate their medical bill were successful in getting a reduction.
Secondly, you may qualify for some sort of assistance with your medical bills even if you don’t qualify for traditional government services such as Medicare or Medicade.
One such program was passed in 1946 is the Hospital Survey and Construction Actwhich is often called theHillâ€“Burton Act.
Many hospitals were built or expanded using Hill-Burton money, and in exchange, hospitals have to provide a certain amount of need based care to individuals each year.
If the medical bills are too great to pay and you have either few assets, or most of your assets are exempt, then you should consider a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 7, the bankruptcy court will discharge the medical debt, and the debtor will no longer be responsible for the debt.
If you have significant assets that are not exempt from seizure you should then consider a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under Chapter 13, since medical bills are treated as unsecured debts, (No Repo Men for medical bills, at least not so far).
You will have to pay a portion of your medical debt based upon your income, but you will able to keep your non exempt property, and, the portion of the medical bills that was not paid will be discharged at the end of your Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
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