Filing bankruptcy does wipe out medical debt. When filing a petition, the debtor is required to list all debts and creditors, this includes medical debt and doctors. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy permits unsecured debts, such as medical bills, to be discharged. Except in cases of fraud and preferential payments, a Chapter 7 requires no repayment of debts. Those whose income is too high to file Chapter 7 or are disqualified in some other way may still utilize a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to deal with medical debts. This Chapter of Bankruptcy reorganizes your debts into a 3-5 year payment plan tailored to fit your income and budget.
Will Your Doctor Still Treat You?
A legitimate and common concern is the possibility of a person losing a doctor if they file bankruptcy to discharge medical debt owed. This would only make logical sense that a doctor (your doctor) would not want to see you if you have discharged his fees in a bankruptcy. However, that is not always the case.
In an emergency medical situation, regardless of insurance status or the ability to pay, everyone is entitled to initial treatment. A federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act states that anyone who seeks medical attention at emergency department shall be stabilized and treated. Whether you are on the verge of bankruptcy or have already filed, you will not be denied emergency services.
Can your medical treatment be terminated if you file bankruptcy on your doctor? If you owe your doctor money, and you are required to list that debt in a bankruptcy, you may not necessarily have to find a new physician. One recommendation would be to contact the doctor before filing bankruptcy in Las Vegas. It would be appropriate to discuss your intent to file bankruptcy with the doctor to explain your situation. A payment arrangement could possibly be worked out with the doctor’s office, even though the money owed would be listed and erased in bankruptcy.
Contact Your Doctor Before Your Bankruptcy- They May Be Able to Work With You
Often, clients find that the doctor is willing to work with them by accepting payments over time. Also, any insurance coverage that applies may still have to be paid to the doctor, even with the bankruptcy filing. Sometimes a doctor will write off the debt, and continue services with a patient. Your doctor may be willing to continue treating you just because your insurance co-pay is high enough to justify continued service despite you discharging their bills in a bankruptcy. Other times, doctors have refused further appointments with a patient or don’t offer payment plans. Your doctor may be more likely to continue treating you if you file a Chapter 13 as opposed to a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
If Your Doctor Won’t Work Out an Alternative with You, Find a New Doctor
It is also common that a patient changes doctors because of insurance coverage, not because they have medical costs owed to the doctor. The point is, this situation is fairly common, and if your physician will not work with you, in order to take care of your financial debt relief, you simply may have to change doctors. Unless you have an extremely rare condition that your doctor specialized in, you should be able to find a new doctor to substitute your old one. You will have to wait at least 8 years before you are eligible to file another Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, which means it will be 8 years until you can again discharge medical debt. Even if your new doctor is somehow aware that you have previously filed bankruptcy, this fact should eliminate any hesitations they have about working as your doctor.
If You Are Drowning in Medical Debt, Call a Bankruptcy Attorney
When medical bills become too much to handle, bankruptcy may be the solution. From the moment you file, your property will be protected from collection by your creditors, until your case and debts are discharged. You can also take care of debts like credit cards and payday loans at the same time. The first step towards discharging your medical bills is calling a bankruptcy attorney in Las Vegas. They should be able to determine which chapter you qualify for and discuss the consequences and benefits of filing. Some offices, including ours, even offer these helpful consultations free of charge. Contact us today. Our Las Vegas Bankruptcy Attorneys will advise you as to what debt relief options are available to you regarding getting relief from medical debt.