Medical debt can be one of the most challenging debts to have in your life. It can quickly build up and become overwhelming, and it can seem like there are a few ways to manage it. Fortunately, there are ways to get in control of medical debt.
One thing you might want to try is talking to the hospital billing department about your ability to pay. You can set up a payment plan, or you can research how much the cost of certain treatments are in other locations and negotiate down your bill. When you do receive a bill, make sure it is accurate. Look to make sure there are not double charges or charges for services you did not receive. If there are errors on the bill, you should call the billing office and have them fixed as soon as possible. Ask for a second bill so that you can make sure the mistake is no longer listed on your account.
If you have a low income, you might qualify for Medicaid, which would help you pay for your medical costs. If you do apply and are qualified, Medicaid may pay back bills from up to three months ago, helping you get out of debt and covering any additional medical care moving forward.
If your bills have already gone to collections, then it's possible that you could work with an attorney to negotiate down the debt. If you think that the debt is too overwhelming and can't be negotiated away, or if you find that you are unable to make your payments regardless, then bankruptcy may be another option to consider.
Source: Debt.org, "Medical Debt and Collections," accessed Nov. 03, 2016