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Medical Debt and Bankruptcy

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Consumer Bankruptcy, Health Law, Industry News, Latest News, Updike, Tracy L.

Your health is one thing in life that can turn quickly without any notice or forewarning. Whether from an unexpected diagnosis or an unfortunate accident, the medical bills associated with even a short hospital stay can be financially debilitating. If surgery or another medical procedure is required, the bills will continue to pile up. Add on the fact that you are most likely unable to work during this time and possibly during your recovery, and the financial hole continues to get larger.

Even with great medical insurance, coverage typically does not pay 100% of all medical bills and expenses. This leaves you to pick up the remaining balances, which can still be staggering. These unplanned events can affect your family and leave you with tens of thousands of dollars (or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars) of medical debt and the financial inability to make ends meet.

Is Bankruptcy Right For you?

Everyone’s financial situation is different. After experiencing a medical condition or injury, you may find yourself with only a few thousand dollars of debt and choose to make monthly payments to the medical provider that fits your budget.

However, you could be left with upwards of $20,000 or more in medical bills and expenses, plus some other household or personal bills that are now behind due to not being able to work during your recovery. This may leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, unsure of what to do next to get back on a good financial path.

Medical debt is one of the main reasons people choose to file for bankruptcy. Medical bills are unsecured, so they can be discharged. There is no such thing as a bankruptcy specific to medical debt, but it can be included as part of Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy. It will depend on your financial situation and which type of bankruptcy is the best solution for you.

When Should You Contact a Bankruptcy Attorney?

Deciding whether to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult decision to make. It is also complicated sometimes due to the stigma that is attached to bankruptcy.

It’s crucial to remember that your quality of life is important. Unexpected medical situations can happen to anyone. You don’t want to let medical debt derail everything you have strived so hard to build in your life. You’ll want to understand your rights and weigh what is best for your financial situation and remember that your long-term well-being is important. You don’t want to ignore your medical bills and wait for the debt collectors to start calling, which can cause stress and anxiety and can lead to additional medical issues.

If you’re considering bankruptcy in Pennsylvania due to medical debt, you have options to consider, and Tracy Updike, a bankruptcy lawyer at Mette, Evan & Woodside, can help! Armed with a vast knowledge of bankruptcy laws in PA, Tracy helps clients navigate their financial situation and make the right decision based on their unique needs. Contact Tracy today for a free consultation at (717) 232-5000.