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For some patients, bankruptcy best option for medical debt relief

Medical debt continues to be one of the largest financial troubles that burden people in Washington. Most people remain in the dark and confused when it comes to figuring out what exactly their next medical bill will cost, and sadly, some even avoid seeking necessary medical care out of fear of taking on more debt. While predicting the cost of visiting the doctor is getting somewhat easier, medical debt relief is still often best accomplished through a successful bankruptcy filing.

Even when patients have health insurance, insurance companies tend to be elusive about what costs are covered and what are not. Many patients are surprised to receive a hefty bill for what they believed was covered care. Not surprisingly, the top cause of bankruptcy within the United States is . . . medical debt.

Some people try to combat impending medical bills by saving up money during the course of medical treatment. This option might work out okay for certain individuals, but more intensive treatment can often keep people out of work and without the corresponding paycheck, making it impossible to stash money away for payments. Things are even worse for those in need of immediate and emergency care who have no way of anticipating the size of the bill that will eventually land at their door.

It is mind-boggling that people in Washington can become so entrenched in debt simply for falling ill. While those who work in the industry tend to advise that patients research costs and even try their hand at negotiating with insurance companies, these methods are only mildly useful. Procedure costs vary not only from state to state, but even hospital to hospital and doctor to doctor, while negotiating with an insurance company can be pegged down as a Herculean task. When the bills turn into harassing phone calls and there is simply no way to make heads or tails of how much is owed and when, medical debt relief can typically be achieved through bankruptcy.

Source:, "How to Predict the Size of Your Next Major Medical Bill", Christine DiGangi, Oct. 6, 2015

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