The rising cost of healthcare is making it expensive for regular people to seek out medical services. Even if health insurance has been purchased, many companies will pay for specific services to a certain dollar amount, or about 60 percent of bills, and leave the rest to the patient. Many people may get sick and cannot continue to work, further straining household budgets. With steadily increasing health expenses and cutbacks from health insurance providers, many people are finding themselves bordering on bankruptcy after a prolonged illness or complex medical treatment.
Because the cost of treatment can build quickly with a serious illness, medical-related bankruptcy is becoming a common occurrence. Depending on the severity of the illness or condition, patients may go to the hospital and be billed thousands of dollars for a short visit. In the case of breast cancer, a bilateral mammogram can total $270, and a biopsy test to follow up on a suspicious image can reach $1,070. Chemotherapy treatments will add up to $13,400 after a four day hospital visit, and a mastectomy procedure is usually billed at $11,500. Thus, it is important for people to know what options are available to avoid an unexpected illness driving them into bankruptcy.
Based on the financial situation of the patient, household expenses and other factors, some options may be available to help avoid medical-related bankruptcy. The first step would be to assess current medical bills to see if any are able to be paid out slowly with monthly minimums. People should follow doctor’s instructions, maintain a healthy lifestyle and seek out regular, free examinations to ensure any medical concerns are found and treated promptly. The longer a condition is present without treatment, the more costly care can become, further increasing medical debt.
If a recent diagnosis is threatening the accumulation of significant hospital bills in the future, patients should consider working with an attorney who specializes in medical debt prevention to develop financial strategies for staying afloat while battling a serious condition. Legal counselors help financially strapped clients review their financial obligations to determine which are the most pressing. There are many ways to eliminate debts over time, aside from bankruptcy, that will fit the needs and lifestyle of the client. Most strategies involve a financing system that requires regular payments toward debt each month, as well as proactive steps to reduce future accumulation of medical costs.
– This guest post was written by Larry Davis on behalf of Fesenmyer Law Office, abankruptcyattorney in Columbus Ohio. They work to help businesses and individuals with their bankruptcy issues, restructuring their debt, and finding bankruptcy alternatives.