Medical Bills in Bankruptcy
Medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. Many people file for bankruptcy due to medical bills, even if they have health insurance. The cost of healthcare in the US is very high and often leads to bankruptcy for many people. Medical expenses are usually discharged when a person files for bankruptcy.
Can you Discharge Medical Debt in Bankruptcy?
Medical debts can be discharged when you file for bankruptcy. But it is considered better to file for bankruptcy as a last resort. Filing for bankruptcy due to medical debt can be avoided through alternatives like suggesting and negotiating a payment plan with your healthcare provider.
This is done to avoid the claim going to collections where you do not have freedom over your funds. When you file for bankruptcy, the trustee ensures that all the creditors are repaid as soon as possible. Discharge of medical debt mostly depends on the amount of debt and the type of bankruptcy you filed for.
Medical bills are considered to be unsecured nonpriority debts in bankruptcy and can be discharged easily. In the case of chapter 7 bankruptcy, the trustee sells all your assets to repay creditors. At the end of that process, the medical bill is usually discharged even if you didn’t raise any funds to pay the healthcare provider.
However, there are downsides to filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy because the trustee has the authority to sell your property. Losing property can lead to losing your home or other land you may own. Hence chapter 7 bankruptcy is only for those who are critically low on funds.
In the case of chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may have to repay medical bills over the course of time from your income. This helps build a good relationship with your healthcare provider because you are at least repaying some of the medical bills.
If you are only facing medical debt, filing for bankruptcy is not the best option for you. Alternatives for avoiding bankruptcy filing include debt management plans, consolidating your debt, raising money, negotiating with the health provider, etc.