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Russell G. Small

Dealing with overwhelming medical debt

Many Connecticut residents are struggling with high levels of medical debt. It may seem nearly impossible to pay off expensive health care bills. In fact, around 30% of all Americans have over $500 in unpaid medical debt. Medical debt, like other kinds of debt, can have an effect on one's credit score. This means that unpaid medical bills can also lead to challenges when buying car insurance, renting an apartment or seeking a loan.

Of course, medical debt does not need to be reported to a credit bureau. In general, health care providers do not directly report unpaid balances. However, they do sell unpaid debt to collectors, and those agencies regularly report to the credit agencies. If one's medical balances are low, they may not be reflected on a credit report because the most common model does not include amounts under $100. There are various ways people can help to prevent medical debt from being an even greater burden than it already is. They may need to actively engage with or lobby an insurance company to have their bills paid, or they may be able to work out a payment plan with the health care provider.

In some cases, people can negotiate with a debt collector to delete the negative credit reference in exchange for a payment. This should be confirmed in writing before agreeing. In addition, it is important to scrutinize collection calls to be certain that the debt is legitimate.

When medical debt becomes overwhelming and unpayable, personal bankruptcy can also be an option. Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help an individual find debt relief and escape a crushing burden. Someone facing medical debt can contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney for advice and guidance in seeking a new financial future.

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