When an injury, illness or accident occurs, your first concern should be getting the medical care you need. Unfortunately, many Americans face exorbitant medical bills that leave them with overwhelming debt. At Leinart Law Firm, our medical debt and bankruptcy attorneys can help you sort it all out and find creative solutions to help you get out from under debt. We help to ensure that your hospital bills and medical costs are reasonable, your medical costs are proportionate to your wages and your insurance company pays their fair share of your medical expenses.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt is defined as “any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance or services which are the subject of the transaction are primarily for personal, family, or household purpose.” This includes medical debt.
When you sign a contract for treatment with a hospital, a clinic, a physician or another health care provider, you agree to pay any amounts your insurance company doesn’t cover. If your insurer doesn’t pay the bill, you may be responsible for any expenses that aren’t covered. If you believe you were billed incorrectly, you have a right to dispute the charges. Like credit card debt, unpaid medical bills are considered unsecured debt and can be discharged in bankruptcy.
Sadly, one of the most common reasons many people file bankruptcy is because of overwhelming medical debt. Our Dallas medical bankruptcy attorneys can help you reduce or eliminate your medical debt and start over with a clean financial slate.
Although you may think it can’t happen to you because you have health insurance, the majority of people who are forced into bankruptcy do have insurance. Even if you have Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits, the cost of medical care can easily be overwhelming. For example, if you have an illness that is treated with an experimental drug or another type of treatment, an insurer may not cover it. In some cases, a patient may have to undergo multiple surgeries, long-term physical therapy and other treatment, and their insurance limits simply do not cover all costs of treatment or care.
What’s worse, if you or a loved one who falls ill is the primary means of financial support for your household, your family may quickly face dire financial straits. When dealing with mounds of medical bills, paying for essentials like food, shelter and clothing can be difficult. Depending on the circumstances, filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may help you regain control over your finances.
Both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy provide options for eradicating medical debt. To qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your income must be under a certain dollar amount. In Chapter 13, you may be able to discharge all or a large amount of medical debt and roll the rest into your Chapter 13 repayment plan. It’s essential to speak with an experienced Texas bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions about how to deal with your medical debt. Our medical debt relief lawyers can assess your finances and advise you of your options so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. It’s also important to keep in mind that bankruptcy may not be your best option — that’s why having an experienced professional evaluate your specific situation is critical.
The first and simplest is to set up payment plans. Ignoring medical bills doesn’t make them go away, and you should never underestimate the power of a phone call. Unlike many other creditors, most hospitals and medical providers will work with you on a payment plan when you’re faced with steep medical bills. Create a monthly budget and figure out how much you will be able to pay on your medical bills each month. Give the hospital’s or medical provider’s financial department a call to discuss setting up a payment plan.
Many hospitals don’t charge interest for the first year and will not send your bill to collections if you keep current on your payment plan. If you’re uninsured, they may give you a significant discount on the cost of treatment and services. Make sure to ask if they offer any financial forgiveness programs as well.
Another option is to fight the medical insurance company. Insurance companies are in the business of making money — they do not have your best interests in mind, even if they claim they do. If your medical debt is largely due to your insurer denying coverage, it’s always a good idea to appeal their decision. It can be extremely challenging to go up against an insurer and win appeals on your own, but having an experienced medical debt relief attorney represent you and fight for your interests can help you save thousands of dollars.
If you’ve undergone costly medical treatment due to injuries that were caused by someone else’s negligence, the at-fault party may be responsible for your medical bills, wage loss and other damages. For example, if you suffered serious injury in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to file a claim with their auto insurance company. At Leinart Law Firm, our bankruptcy lawyers and personal injury attorneys work collaboratively to determine whether a circumstance such as this may apply to your case. If so, we can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
Our team at Leinart Law Firm understands how medical debt can turn your life upside down. Being injured or ill is hard enough without having to worry about how you’ll feed your family and keep a roof over your head. We care about our clients and their families, and we’re dedicated to helping you find the path to financial freedom that works best for you. Regardless of the financial or personal challenges you may be facing, we’ll be by your side every step of the way to provide the legal counsel, services and support you need to get through tough times. We offer free consultations, give you a candid assessment of your case and advise you of all the options that may be available to get your finances back on track.
If you need assistance with medical debt, our attorneys at Leinart Law Firm can help. To schedule a free consultation, please call us in Dallas at 469-232-3328 or Fort Worth at 817-426-3328. You can also fill out the contact form on our website, use our convenient chat feature or email us. Our Dallas and Fort Worth bankruptcy attorneys serve clients throughout north Texas.