If you are behind on medical bills, you may think that you’ll never get out from under this debt. Medical bills can add up quickly and be hundreds or thousands of dollars. Even a single day in the hospital could end up costing you thousands before you meet your deductible.
Medical bills can be, and often are, sent to collections agencies. Around 31.6% of American adults have some kind of collection activity on their accounts, and out of those, around half are a result of medical bills. That’s not surprising, considering how much a single treatment for any kind of condition can be.
One big problem with medical bills going to collections is that some head to collections without you ever knowing that they were going to be sent in. One reason for this is because of a common myth that you won’t be sent to collections if you make a payment of any amount. The truth is that underpaying can result in your bill going to collections. Even making a payment a day or two late can result in it being sent to collections.
The good news is that medical debts are given less weight on your credit report. Credit bureaus also wait 180 days before listing a medical debt on your credit report, which allows you more time to find a solution (like going into bankruptcy). Once you pay your debt, it is removed from the credit report immediately, which didn’t used to happen.
Medical bills can be overwhelming, but changes have occurred to help reduce their impact overall. Still, if you cannot pay what you owe, a bankruptcy could be a good way to get back to financial stability.