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How to keep medical debt under control

Medical debt is often cited as a reason why people in Virginia and other states file for bankruptcy. While it might not be possible to predict when a health issue will arise, it may be possible to manage medical debt. Ideally, individuals will take time to read and understand their health insurance policies. In some cases, it will be necessary to obtain approval before seeing a specialist or having a procedure done.

Failing to get that approval may mean that a patient is responsible for paying for a procedure or to see a specialist. Prior to paying a medical bill, it is important to review it to ensure that the invoice is accurate. Otherwise, a person could pay for services that were never rendered. If a claim is submitted to the insurance company with the wrong medical code, that claim could be denied.

It may be possible to appeal an insurance company's decision to deny an appeal. If the denial is upheld, an individual could ask to be put on a payment plan to make any resulting medical bill easier to repay. In some cases, a service provider may agree to take less than the amount stated on the invoice. This may allow a person to avoid putting his or her medical debt on a credit card that charges a high interest rate.

Filing for personal bankruptcy may make it possible to reduce or eliminate medical or other types of unsecured debt. In many cases, individuals who file for bankruptcy will be granted an automatic stay from creditor contact or other collection activities. This may put an end to threatening phone calls, letters or planned legal action until the case is discharged. An attorney may be able to further explain the possible benefits of bankruptcy.

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