Medical debt is one of the leading reasons people file for bankruptcy. When medical bills pile up and the costs of treatment continue to plague you, finding a way out can be stressful. If you or someone you know is suffering a medical condition or chronic illness, there are some important things to know about medical debt:
1. Some of the charges can be negotiated or disputed— most people don’t know that you can negotiate on the costs of services beforehand, or even dispute charges after the fact. The bottom line is doctors and hospitals know they overcharge for services, often because they don’t get paid in full. You can use this to your advantage by agreeing to a payment plan at a lower rate.
2. Medical bills rarely carry interest charges — unlike other forms of debt medical bills don’t typically come with interest fees. This is because they are not a loan that is being repaid, rather it is a simple bill of charges for services. The lack of interest charges can be helpful in that you won’t be paying for more than what is owed over the life of the payment plan. However, be aware that there can be penalty fees for nonpayment.
3. The debts may go to collections — medical debts can go into collections quickly, often after one month of nonpayment. Once a medical debt is handed over to a collections company you might be told by the collector you cannot pay the doctor or hospital directly. This is not true. You should always make payments to your provider directly unless you opt for a settlement.
4. It is a low priority debt-– one of the good things about medical bills is that they are the lowest of priority debt in bankruptcy. That means that if you file for bankruptcy in Dayton Ohio your medical bills can be easily eliminated.