When you need surgery or end up in a Texas emergency room for necessary treatment, you may be wondering how much it will cost you. You may also think that because you have insurance that you won’t be left with many medical bills. Unfortunately, you may find yourself dealing with unexpected medical debt.
Surprise medical bills are one of the leading causes of debt. Many people who thought they had coverage for a procedure they needed often find themselves getting unexpected medical bills in their mailboxes weeks later. This catches people off guard, and many patients are unable to pay these bills. The issue of unexpected medical debt is so serious that Congress is considering legislation to ease the burden on overwhelmed consumers.
Deceptive billing methods
You may be wondering – how does a person not know if their insurance is going to cover their medical treatment? How do surprise medical bills even happen? A person may go into a facility that is in network, but the doctor, x-ray technician or surgeon may not work with that insurance company. The patient would then have to pay out of pocket for services rendered by that practitioner – and he or she may not have any idea until the bill arrives.
Many believe these are deceptive billing methods employed by the health care industry as a ploy to get more money out of sick or injured individuals. This is a hot-button issue, and lawmakers are considering methods that would take off the table the ability to bill patients in this manner. As you can imagine, the doctors and others who have a lot of money to lose in this deal are fighting this effort.
One interest group has a released an advertisement that stated if Congress changed the current system, it could compromise some of the most vulnerable patients. The ad specifies that it could harm kids, older Americans and those who need Medicaid. The clear intent of the ad is to scare people.
Others have spoken out against this ad, saying that there is no link between vulnerable patients, Medicaid and surprise medical bills. This is simply a way to confuse people who may be unaware of how the system works.
Dealing with your medical debt
If you have medical debt you cannot pay, you do not have to face it on your own. After exploring all other options, you may want to consider moving forward with a bankruptcy filing. This could allow you to deal with certain types of debt, including medical debt, once and for all. An assessment of your case could help you see if this is the right path for your unique situation.