Some Virginia residents struggle to pay medical debts regardless of how much money they make. In fact, the Federal Reserve found that nearly half of respondents to a survey said that they received such a bill in the past year that they can’t pay. However, those who are in this position could be eligible for financial assistance. Charity care could be available to those who make $100,000 a year and who already have insurance.
American hospitals offered $38 billion in charity care in 2018, and the amounts offered vary based on income and insurance levels. For instance, Sutter Health allows families of four with no insurance that make up to $104,000 per year to completely write off the cost of care. For those with insurance, co-pays and other amounts patients would otherwise be responsible for could be waived as well.
This is true if their medical expenses over the past 12 months were more than 10 percent of their income. In addition to hospitals, groups such as RIP Medical Debt buy unpaid debts in bulk and forgive the balances. Ideally, a person will ask for help before a hospital sends a debt to collections. Patients should know that hospitals that receive government funding are generally required to offer some sort of financial assistance.
If a person is struggling with medical debt, filing for bankruptcy may help that person obtain a new financial start. Medical debts are generally eligible for discharge in either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. In addition to having the ability to reorganize debt balances, creditors may be barred from taking collection actions while a case is ongoing. This may put a stop to a repossession or delay a foreclosure until new loan terms can be worked out.