Can bankruptcy help with overdue medical debt?

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2019 | Bankruptcy

Seeking medical care when sick or attending regular appointments for health care prevention is important for the health and vitality of people living in Connecticut. Unfortunately, some people choose to forgo getting necessary medical attention because they are scared of what comes after — bills. This fear is far from unfounded. Medical debt is a growing problem, although one that can be addressed through bankruptcy.

Approximately 43 million people in America have unpaid or past due medical debt that is negatively affecting their credit scores. Unpaid medical bills account for about half of all overdue debt in the U.S. While medical debt can slowly build up over time due to smaller expenses, much of the overdue bills are related to larger, unexpected care. Ambulance rides and hospital stays are common sources, as is receiving care from doctors who patients believed were in-network but turned out to be not.

While hospitals generally try to collect payments for medical bills on their own, these institutions often sell unpaid debts to debt collectors. Debt collectors often bombard patients with calls, letters and more, insisting that they pay a bill that they cannot even afford. One woman described how a debt collector tried to connect with her professional LinkedIn account to try and collect on bills for a heart transplant.

Medical bills are one of the biggest problems facing Connecticut consumers who are trying to pay off debt. These bills are often tens of thousands of dollars and can be for multiple providers or institutions, which amounts to several different payments per month. For some of these individuals, bankruptcy can provide much-needed relief from debt, aggressive collectors and the overwhelming stress of simply trying to make ends meet.