Medical crisis can lead to medical debt and bankruptcy

There is no doubt that a medical crisis can lead to sudden and unexpected debt for any Minnesota resident. This is particularly troubling, as not only is the actual medical condition stressful enough, but so is dealing with a seemingly constant stream of bills and calls from bill collectors.

When talking about medical debt, the No. 1 question is just what else a person was supposed to do? Faced with a medical crisis, many of which could have been life-threatening, a patient simply listens to their doctors and goes through whatever treatments are necessary in order to get better. When a person does have insurance, this can mean using out-of-network providers, which are costly. Without insurance, it just means going through the procedures and having to deal with the costs later. Even with insurance, deductibles can be financially tough to take care of.

There is also no time for research when it comes to a medical emergency. While for routine doctor visits and procedures a patient may have time to research the best, most cost-effective options, when there is a crisis there is simply no time. Rather, patients just go with whatever their doctors and medical staff believe is appropriate. Again, the idea is to just deal with the costs later on.

Many times, people turn to bankruptcy in order to deal with their unpaid medical bills. In fact, medical debt is one of the No. 1 reasons why people file for personal bankruptcy. In many cases, it enables them to have the slate wiped clean in order to give them time to rebuild their credit and financial future.

Source: U.S. News and World Report, "5 Ways To Avoid Medical Debt," Ben Edwards, March 3, 2013

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