Medical billing and the expenses of serious medical care make dealing with a health crisis more difficult. Those facing cancer, chronic conditions or debilitating injuries are often unable to work and earn enough to cover the costs of their care or treatment.
If the healthcare facility decides to file a lawsuit for its money, the situation becomes more intense and frightening.
Understanding Medical Debt Relief Act
Unpaid medical bills often get sent to a collection agency before the healthcare institution decides to file suit for its money. Many people mistakenly believe they could have special protection from a lawsuit under the Medical Debt Relief Act, but this is not an act that removes debt or prohibits a collection agency or institution from trying to collect its money. This act simply alters the timeline for reporting the debt to the credit reporting bureaus. The debt still remains a financial burden, and creditors can still seek their payment.
Dealing with medical debt
Medical emergencies often bring unplanned expenses, making it easy for people to find themselves struggling with medical debt. Rather than giving up and just ignoring the bills, reach out to the facility or provider to find out a reasonable payment plan or to apply for financial assistance. There are laws that require medical providers to offer eligible patients payment plans, and these laws also put safeguards in place to prohibit putting a lien on a home or garnishing an individual’s wages.
Medical debt can cripple your financial situation and add stress to your life. It is a serious problem, but there are ways to help minimize the damage this situation could cause.