A significant illness and injury can leave an Indianapolis resident in unexpected and hefty medical debt.

Even when a person has what seems like good health insurance, she may still be personally responsible for thousands of dollars before hitting and out-of-pocket maximum.

Since serious medical episode can costs tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars between several different professionals.

Moreover, there are many people in Indiana who have either no or inadequate healthcare coverage for their medical needs. They have to make up the difference by paying out of pocket.

Methods other than bankruptcy may be available

Especially when combined with other debts, medical bills can overwhelm a Hoosier family financially. However, there are some steps people who are in this situation can take.

The first step is to negotiate early and often with the medical providers involved.

Many hospitals, for example, have programs for people who cannot afford to pay all or part of their bills because of financial hardship, and not-for-profits have to have some sort of program of this type.  Persistence is key when dealing with a medical provider.

On a related point, if the medical provider assigns the bill to a collections agency, there are legal steps a person can take to prevent harassment and aggressive collections techniques.

It is also important not to panic and make a poor financial decision, like paying a medical bill with a high interest credit card or ignoring the car or house payment to pay medical debt.

Bankruptcy is also an option

In some cases, though, it is in the best interest of someone drowning in medical debt to consider filing for bankruptcy. There certainly is no shame in doing this, as it can be the legal means of getting medical debts wiped out and starting fresh.