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What To Do When You Can’t Afford Your Medical Bills

November 1, 2019 in Medical Debt   3 min read

Medical debt is one of the main reasons people file bankruptcy. According to an article on Huffington Post, 62% of personal bankruptcy cases in the united states are caused by medical debt. Although there are many ways to practice good health such as dieting and exercising, anyone, including the most financially responsible, can be susceptible to a life changing illness or accident. Unfortunately for some, these types of events can affect their ability to work, leaving them with no means to pay for their incoming medical bills. Even people with insurance have been found to struggle with paying remaining balances on their bills. Here are some options to consider that may help if you can no longer afford to pay your medical bills.

Check the Bill

There are a number of things that can go wrong during your trip to the hospital or doctor’s office. Medical billing errors occur way more often than most people realize. Just like dinner at an expensive restaurant, you’ll want to make sure you're not getting dinged for things that you shouldn’t be paying for. It is important to review and make copies of your medical reports and bills prior to paying or submitting them to your insurance company. Some services offer medical billing advocates to assist people in contacting the hospitals and insurances agencies.


Many people are unaware that they can negotiate with the billing departments, doctors, insurance companies, and even collection agencies. This method may take a ton of effort and persistence, but it has been proven to help many people work out more affordable payment settlements. Most people have no idea how much a specific medical procedure costs, and a large portion struggle even reading the medical bills. However, one way to avoid getting overcharged is to get quotes by different doctors to get a better idea of how much a future procedure may cost. If you have found that you may have overpaid, you can contact the hospital to see if they are willing to reduce the costs for you.

Charity Care and Medical Assistance

Apart from insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, many hospitals and doctors offices offer financial assistance for those that qualify. These programs are generally income based, however, there are plenty different types of assistance that may be available outside the hospital as well. Some examples include local church groups, or online crowdsourcing.


Medical bills are one of the main reasons most people file bankruptcy in the United States. Although this option can significantly impact one’s credit, filing bankruptcy can help those that have completely exhausted all of their options and are unable to afford their bills. This may take heavy consideration and possibly legal consultations with an attorney.


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