Medical debts could make it harder to borrow money

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2020 | Bankruptcy |

Nearly everyone will have medical expenses over their lifetime. Many of those expenses, especially the bills for preventive care, are covered by insurance. However, Florida insurance policies often require patients to pay a deductible before their plans begin to cover outpatient surgeries, lab work, and physical therapy. These deductibles often appear on patients’ credit reports.

Some people have medical debts they assumed had been paid by their health insurance. Because health insurance doesn’t always cover every cost associated with care, it’s important to check with the insurance company prior to having any medical procedures. Deductibles, coinsurance, and uncovered expenses could result in collection action if they aren’t paid. Patients may also consult with their doctor or hospital’s financial team to get an estimate of their costs prior to scheduling a procedure.

The credit scoring methods have been updated to put less emphasis on medical debts. These changes were made to benefit consumers who may not be able to afford to pay their medical expenses out of their own pockets right away. However, some lenders continue to use the older system and that could result in a person being denied credit due to medical expenses. It’s important for everyone to review their credit reports once a year to ensure there are no surprises when they apply for credit.

Major medical procedures or lengthy hospital stays often result in a lot of debt, even when the patient has health insurance. An attorney might help a person with unmanageable medical bills determine if resolving those debts through bankruptcy would benefit them. Through the bankruptcy court, some people are able to eliminate all of their debts; others pay what they can afford.