All it takes is one surgical procedure or an unplanned trip to the emergency room in Indianapolis for you to be sacked with a hefty medical bill. After all, insurance may not cover everything, or you may have a high deductible to meet before insurance kicks in. The following is an overview of medical debt in the U.S. and tips for paying down your medical debt.
The picture of medical debt
According to one survey, in 2017, 19% of respondents reported they had medical debt. Medical debt was defined as costs the respondent could not pay up front or at the time, they received care. The median amount of medical debt owed was $2,000. People who carry medical debt may choose to avoid going to the doctor and accumulating more debt. They may also have less money to spend on life’s necessities including food and housing. Some people with medical debt ultimately decided to file for bankruptcy.
Two ways to pay down medical debt
One way to pay down medical debt is to discuss entering into a payment plan with your medical provider. In general, these plans will break the amount you owe into a series of equal payments over the course of several months. This can allow you to pay back your debt in a manageable way.
Another option for paying down medical debt is through the use of a medical credit card. Some providers do not offer payment plans but will take a medical credit card. This card allows you to pay off the debt interest-free for a period of time. Note that once this time period passes, you may be subject to interest on the balance on your medical credit card.
Learn more about eliminating medical debt
Eliminating medical debt may seem impossible, but you do have options. In addition to the two described above some people find filing for bankruptcy is the preferred way to address medical debt and other debts that they simply have no means of paying back. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing can be the financial lifeline a person needs to move forward on fresh financial footing.