Medical Debt Collections on the Rise

older man in wheelchair looking at documents with laptop

After millions became sick or lost their jobs in the US in 2020, it is certainly no surprise to hear that many Americans are dealing with collections regarding medical bills. Already a major problem in the US, medical bankruptcies are now expected to be on the increase.

Historically, medical debt has been a serious issue, ranking as the number one reason that US citizens file for bankruptcy. With the sweep of COVID-19 throughout the nation, however, medical debt is now a major focus. If you are dealing with piles of medical bills, you may feel like there is no way out except to file for bankruptcy, but that should always be a last resort. And although more people than ever are going through financial difficulties right now, it is actually a very good time to negotiate with creditors and debt collection agencies.

recent survey shows that 60 percent of Americans experienced medical debt, with costs averaging up to almost $10,000. Typically, reasons for such debt are visits to the ER, appointments with specialists, childbirth expenses, and dental care.

“We know that high deductibles are associated with medical bill problems — either not being able to pay your bills or trying to pay debt off over time,” said Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage and access at the Commonwealth Fund, in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance. “This is an ongoing chronic problem in private coverage that’s leaving people with lots of unpaid bills or bills that they’re struggling to pay off over time.”

“If you had a deductible of $1,000 and you had an unexpected visit to the emergency room, would you have the savings to pay that $1,000 bill?” Collins said. “A very large share of people in employer plans, particularly people with incomes under 250% of poverty, so somewhat lower and moderate incomes, about half of them said they would not have the money to cover that bill. … Most people don’t have a lot of out-of-pocket costs in any one year, unless you have a lot of chronic health problems. But when you do, people are left holding the bag.”

If you are delinquent on medical bills, speak with an experienced attorney from a firm like Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to figure out exactly what your options are. And if you have already received a summons and complaint for a collection lawsuit from a medical creditor—or any other creditor—prepare to deal with the problem sooner rather than later. Even if you feel like you don’t have anything to lose right now, that certainly may not be true in 20 years, which is exactly how long a default judgment could be good for in California.

Speak with an attorney from Fitzgerald & Campbell, APLC as soon as possible to examine your options. Our attorneys have decades of experience in serving clients as they navigate through challenging financial situations, to include student loan issues, bankruptcy, and other debt management processes. We are here to help! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation, call us at (844) 431-3851, or email us at info@debtorprotectors.com.

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