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Patients face mounting medical debt

Medical treatment can leave people in Virginia struggling with massive quantities of medical debt. People across the country are facing costly medical bills that they cannot afford to pay, even when they have health insurance in place. In fact, medical debt is the leading issue linked to personal bankruptcy filings across the country. Patients worried about medical bills can take some steps to minimize their exposure to health-related debt.

People struggling with illness may also need to take on another task: understanding the complexities of their health insurance plans. Many people face costly medical debt because they receive care from doctors deemed out-of-network by their insurance companies. In some cases, these out-of-network facilities and providers may be much closer or have stronger reputations in the particular care needed. However, patients may face limited coverage or none at all. In addition, some insurers require specific processes to obtain permission to see a specialist, receive an imaging test or undergo surgery. By working with these processes, people can work to improve their chances of stronger coverage from their insurance plan.

If an insurer denies coverage for treatment, patients should be encouraged to advocate for themselves. They can often appeal claims that are denied by their insurers. By going through the appeals process, people can fight to avoid costly medical bills and obtain coverage they severely need. In many cases, health care providers will participate to support patients going through an insurer's appeals process by writing letters about why particular treatments were medically necessary.

Of course, in many cases, people advocate for themselves and still face thousands of dollars of insurmountable medical bills. An attorney may provide advice and guidance on seeking debt relief through Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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