According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, 37% of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical debt. Another study by the National Council on Aging found that more than half of Americans consider medical debt to be the biggest problem older people face.
The high cost of medicine in America is well known. Medical science may be more advanced in America than anywhere else in the world. Perhaps the United States is better equipped with sophisticated medical technology than anywhere else. Perhaps you don’t have to wait long to make an appointment with a specialist or for an examination, in contrast to other developed countries. In urgent cases, the state, if necessary, pays for treatment in private clinics.
All of the above is important, but not the main thing. The main thing is the availability of treatment, which is primarily determined by its cost. Tens of millions of Americans cannot use the most advanced medicine because they are either not rich enough or poor enough. And we are talking not only about the “working poor”, but also about the middle class.
#1: Medical bills covered by loans
One of the options to pay for any medical bills as a whole or by installments is loans. You may issue a bank loan if meeting all the bank’s requirements. If it is impossible, a man may take out cash advance MN. There is a well-known referral service that unites many US lenders able to approve a loan for a shorter term and at more reasonable rates. You just need to submit an online application and get an offer with certain terms and rates. The rates may differ depending on the state you live in.
This sent offer doesn’t make you accept it in any case. You may either accept it or reject if the terms do not fit you. Cash advance should become a way out not a burden when especially you have to pay great medical bills. One of the main benefits is an early repayment that decreases the rates of an overpayment. Besides, such companies provide loans even in the case of imperfect credit score. This is a chance to relieve yourself from medical bills and debts without judicial proceedings.
#2: Healthcare debt – charity care
The greatest bills are generated in case of hospital admissions. But keep in mind: most American hospitals allow patients to apply for financial assistance or charity care right in the hospital, where there is almost always a corresponding department. If the hospital has served an ambulance to a poor man from whom there is nothing to take, Emergency Medicaid is issued for him or the expense is written off as irrecoverable losses.
If the hospital is a non-profit one, it must provide each patient with a description of its financial assistance program. Commercial hospitals also have such programs. And if there is no special program, you can still apply for charity care.
How much the hospital will allocate depends on your income. For example, MedStar Health, a nonprofit hospital system that includes 10 hospitals in Maryland and the District of Columbia, provides free medical care (as determined by a physician) to uninsured patients whose annual income does not exceed twice the federal poverty level (2020 this level is $ 16,910 for a family of two, $ 21,330 for three, and $ 25,750 for four: multiply those numbers by two). Discounts are offered on a sliding scale for those whose income is between two and four times the federal poverty level.
It is possible, as a rule, to negotiate with medical offices – for example, to pay off the debt for outpatient treatment in installments.
And even if your debt has already been transferred to a collection agency, do not despair. First, you have the right to require collectors to provide proof of your debt: how much, where, when, to whom and for what you had to pay and did not pay. Secondly, you can apply for “charity care” as well.
Let’s not forget about the most extreme means – personal bankruptcy. If medical debts has been so great that it cannot be weakened by any means, then bankruptcy can be resorted to – it will give a respite from the attacks of creditors and collectors. In America, personal bankruptcy is fairly common. Among the respondents to the Gallup / West Health survey discussed above, 45% see the possibility of bankruptcy for themselves if something serious happens to their health that requires unbearable expenses.
Bankruptcy can be carried out either under Chapter 7 or under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code (“Liquidation” and “Restructuring”, respectively). If the debtor has a minimum of income, and there are practically no assets, then Article 7 makes sense, which will clean up all debts, and there is no need to return anything to anyone. If the debtor has some money and property, then, so that everything is not taken away at once, it is necessary to file for bankruptcy under Article 13 and agree (with the approval of a special bankruptcy judge) on the gradual payment of the debt in one amount or another.
But keep in mind that bankruptcy is not only debt relief, but also a hard blow to your credit rating. The bankruptcy record will be kept on your credit file for 10 years. It will be extremely difficult or impossible to issue any loan during this period.