CALL NOW!
FREE PHONE/VIRTUAL CONSULTATION

What You Need to Know Before Filing for “Medical” Bankruptcy

Medical Bankruptcy Pasco, St Petersburg, And Tampa Florida.Medical Bankruptcy

Healthcare costs are one of the biggest expenses modern-day Americans face. It leads many people to wonder if medical bankruptcy is an option.

Even people who have health insurance often find themselves in serious debt after dealing with a medical crisis. And because of this, unpaid medical bills are one of the primary causes of bankruptcy.

Many people consider bankruptcy after a lifetime of otherwise perfect credit just because they suffered a serious illness or injury.

What should you know about medical bankruptcy and whether or not it might help you with your debt problems?

What is Medical Bankruptcy?

First, it’s important to understand that there really is no such thing as “medical bankruptcy.”

Bankruptcy is bankruptcy and differs only based on the chapters, which have more to do with your assets and overall financial situation.

Medical bankruptcy is an unofficial term describing what happens when a person is forced into bankruptcy due to medical debt. Between a quarter and half of all bankruptcies fall into this category.

The other thing that’s important to understand about filing for bankruptcy because of your medical bills is that it won’t just affect your medical bills. This can be positive or negative depending on your viewpoint.

Medical debt is treated the same as credit card debt, personal loans, and other debts that are directly affected by bankruptcy. This means if you file and you have other outstanding debts that qualify for discharge in addition to your medical debt that debt will be taken into account. All unsecured debt gets eliminated, even if your “problem” debt was medical.

Chapters of Bankruptcy and Medical Debt

When you file for bankruptcy, you’ll be listing all of your debts and all of your assets, regardless of their source or type. You must disclose everything about your financial situation and turn a significant amount of control over to the bankruptcy court. This occurs regardless of whether you only wanted to eliminate medical debt.

What the outcome of filing looks like depends on which chapter bankruptcy you choose. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your assets are liquidated and any remaining debt is discharged after creditors are paid from the proceeds of the liquidation. In Chapter 13, you commit to a repayment plan lasting three to five years, At the end of that period, any remaining unsecured debt is discharged.

To determine whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 is right for you, you’ll discuss your situation with your bankruptcy attorney. He or she will administer a means test that lets you know for which chapter you qualify. You can learn more about the bankruptcy means test here.

How Does Bankruptcy Affect My Medical Situation?

The majority of bankruptcy issues are related to your finances. This includes how much you owe doctors and other medical care providers when you file because of medical debt.

But will filing for bankruptcy affect any other aspect of your healthcare situation?

It might.

One of the most common concerns people have when they file for bankruptcy based on their medical bills is whether or not they’ll need to find a new doctor or change anything about their medical care.

Congress partially addressed these concerns in 1986 with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. This law prevents hospitals from refusing to treat patients who are unable to pay.

However, this law does not always protect you against losing your doctor or your source of treatment. It also does not apply after a person files for bankruptcy.

Medical providers still have the option of refusing treatment to patients who have had debts owed to them discharged. This means if you owed your doctor money and it was discharged when you filed for bankruptcy, he or she can refuse to see you. This tends not to happen, but it’s a risk you need to consider before filing.

Repaying Medical Debt

It’s also important to realize that no laws prevent you from repaying any of your debts after filing for bankruptcy. Some people feel obligated to repay their debts despite the discharge received in bankruptcy. After filing, they can make payments without dealing with additional fees, interest, and penalties, or without making any official commitment.

This means if you want to pay a few dollars each month to your preferred doctor after your bankruptcy is complete, you are free to do so. Some people even find that filing for bankruptcy frees up money earmarked for other unsecured debts. After bankruptcy, they put that toward paying their physician, with whom they have a personal relationship. The lack of a credit card bill means they can pay their doctor.

If you’d like more information about filing for bankruptcy or you’re getting crushed by medical debt and you believe bankruptcy might be an option, we can help. Contact the bankruptcy Law Office of Robert M. Geller at 813-254-5696 to schedule a free consultation.

Archive

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

How Does Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida Affect Your Children?

Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida Understanding how claiming bankruptcy in Florida affects your children is an important part of determining whether...
Read More

Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida: What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy and Your Spouse Does Not?

Claiming Bankruptcy in Florida You already know how much the things you do affect your spouse when you are married....
Read More

Should You Pay Back What You Owe Loved Ones Before You File for Bankruptcy?

Florida Bankruptcy Laws It’s common for people who are struggling financially to turn to their friends and family for help....
Read More

Bankruptcy and Family Law: Does Filing Affect the Child Support I Pay or Receive?

Bankruptcy and Family Law If you’re like many people, the well-being of your children is your most important priority. Struggling...
Read More

5 Tips for Overcoming the Emotional Toll of Bankruptcy

Florida Bankruptcy Attorney Getting through the bankruptcy process is about more than just improving your finances. Working with a Florida...
Read More

Bankruptcy and Divorce: The Far-from-Perfect Storm

Bankruptcy and Family Law Bankruptcy and divorce separately are two of the most stressful events you can experience in your...
Read More

Does the Pandemic Have You in a Holding Pattern? Here’s How to Know When to File for COVID Bankruptcy

COVID Bankruptcy If you’re struggling to make ends meet and you feel as if your life is on hold because...
Read More

Will Your Favorite Retailer File for Business Bankruptcy in 2021?

Business Bankruptcy 2020 was a tumultuous year and many of the financial challenges caused by the pandemic are expected to...
Read More

Boosted and Extended Benefits Keeping Unemployed Afloat – But For How Long?

Unemployment Benefits Were you one of the millions of people who ended up out of a job and using unemployment...
Read More

Should Bankruptcy Laws Be Adjusted Because of COVID-19?

Bankruptcy Laws The COVID-19 pandemic brought a lot of changes throughout 2020 and many are expected to continue into 2021...
Read More

Bankruptcy

For The Next 5 Days GET A FREE BOOK About Bankruptcy

Learn More

Infographics

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay Online Bankruptcy Courses Newsletter Subscription

NACBA Logo avvo1 avvo2 avvo3 LEA BBB Logo RG Seal

Call For A Free Initial Consultation

813.254.5696

Tampa Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405

Map And Directions

St. Petersburg Office

Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939

Map And Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320

Map And Directions