If you haven’t received any medical bills recently, you may not be intimately familiar with what has happened in healthcare costs. You might have read about the high cost of healthcare or seen news stories about it but it’s really hard to appreciate what even a simple procedure can cost until you have one and see a bill.
Here’s an example. We have a friend who recently had a small bit of plastic surgery done to the bridge of his nose to remove what’s called a basal cell carcinoma. These carcinomas are not dangerous but can lead to dis-figuration. He was in a surgical suite for about 45 minutes while the surgeon cut off the carcinoma and then had it tested to make sure that he had removed all the cancer cells.
Do you want to know what this medical procedure cost?
The total charge was in excess of $900.
Fortunately, my friend had insurance that paid the bill. But just think of how he would’ve felt if he had to pay the $900 out-of-pocket. Now, think what kind of medical bills you might see if you were uninsured and had an operation even for something as simple as an appendectomy.
Help with medical bills
If you find yourself faced with a huge stack of medical bills, there is help available. Many Americans who have found themselves in this position pay these bills with a debt consolidation loan. Banks and credit unions are usually a good source for this type of loan. However, it does come with a downside. For one thing, you will most likely have to “secure” that loan by putting up some kind of asset as collateral. Unless you happen to own a boat or second home where you have enough equity to secure the loan, you will most likely have to put up your house as collateral. This puts it at risk for foreclosure because if you fail to make your loan payments, your lender can force you to sell it.
The most drastic solution
Of course, the most drastic way to get help with medical bill debt is to declare bankruptcy. More and more bankruptcies are being filed every day due to bankruptcy. In fact, the most recent statistics I saw was that 9000 Americans file for bankruptcy every day. The most favored form of bankruptcy is Chapter 7. Most people choose this because it allows them to keep some of their assets. For example, a Chapter 7 lets you keep up to $60,000 of equity in your home and $6000 worth of equity in your automobile. However, the bankruptcy judge or referee can order you to sell other of your assets to help pay creditors.. In other words, you could very well kiss that fishing boat or camping trailer goodbye. Plus, having a bankruptcy stays on your record and can have a negative affect on your credit score for as many as 10 years.
Consumer credit counseling
A third way to get help with medical bills is with consumer credit counseling. You may have seen ads on television for one of these agencies. The best ones are nonprofits and don’t charge for their services. They can afford to do this because they are financially bankrolled by credit providing companies (major credit card banks such as Bank of America, Chase, Capital One, Citibank) as it is in their best interest to help you with your debt rather than see you file for bankruptcy. While these credit-counseling agencies cannot get your debt lowered, they can get your interest reduced so that you will have lower monthly payments.
If you have credit card debt on top of those medical bills, you can also get help with it through a debt relief company such as National Debt Relief. It has a good history of helping its customers cut their credit card bills in half or better. It charges no upfront fees and you can get a free debt analysis with no obligation – and what’s better than free? Get help with your medical bills now.