Can I Discharge Medical Bills in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The cost of healthcare is outrageous these days, meaning that more and more Americans are becoming saddled with unbelievably high medical bills. These huge debts are also driving more people to search for relief.

Relief Options for Medical Debt

There are a few ways that you can go about trying to take care of large medical debts, such as:

  • Settlements – Medical providers are often snubbed when it comes time to pay the bill, meaning that they may be reasonably open to negotiating a settlement deal with you. Talk to your provider about lowering your owed amounts, perhaps even drastically.
  • Affordable Care Act – The Affordable Care Act requires non-profit hospitals that get federal aid, which is many of them, to be more agreeable when they put together the bill. The IRS has proposed that hospitals provide free or low-cost healthcare to low-income people, which you may qualify for.
  • Hospital Care Assurance Program – Talk to a financial advisor at the hospital about qualifying for HCAP. This program may reimburse the hospital for all of your expenses if your income level qualifies you.

Medical Bills in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

It is possible to discharge medical bills in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which means it could be the best solution.

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of your debts will be categorized by their priority and whether they are secured or unsecured debts. Medical debt is generally categorized as nonpriority unsecured debt. That means that it is at the bottom of the totem pole when a bankruptcy trustee starts looking to repay your creditors.

Even if little or none of the medical bills are paid during Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will still likely get a complete discharge. Bankruptcy discharge could potentially eliminate your obligation to ever repay any of that debt.

Bankruptcy attorney Kevin D. Judd is here to help individuals in the Washington D.C. and Maryland area struggling with debt to find financial freedom, whether through bankruptcy or other solutions

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