Can Medical Debt Be Forgiven? A Comprehensive Guide

Veterans Affairs recently announced a plan to simplify medical debt forgiveness, though the details have yet to be resolved. Additionally, the VA has made changes to the way it reports clinical debt for credit reporting purposes. If you have outstanding medical bills that are past due, your creditors may be willing to agree to a debt repayment agreement. This would allow you to pay less than what is owed and the rest would be forgiven.

You can negotiate a debt settlement on your own or hire a debt settlement company to do so on your behalf. According to Dollar For, the law states that hospitals must publish their financial assistance policies online and accept applications for debt forgiveness. Hospitals often provide charitable care to uninsured or underinsured low- and middle-income patients. When you file for Chapter 13, the court combines your medical bills with other unsecured debt into a repayment plan.

You can also ask nonprofit organizations such as the PAN Foundation and CancerCare for help with your medical bills. It's not something where the hospital can balance its budget with the 0.2% it collects from wage garnishments and debt collection lawsuits. These organizations can not only provide relief for long-term health care, but they can also help reduce out-of-pocket payments for medical expenses and bills. Furthermore, newer credit rating systems don't weigh medical debt as much as other types of debt because it's not considered predictive of creditworthiness.

If the provider knows about your situation, they are more likely to work with you to reduce or even cancel the debt. In the US, 19% of American households could not afford the medical care they received right away. This is why a single medical debt in collections can damage your credit score by up to 100 points. According to Bosco, he can negotiate with the bill collector for a payment plan and a reduction in the amount of debt.

If you feel overwhelmed by your bills, you can turn to a counselor or advocate to negotiate your medical bills on your behalf. Some hospitals and medical groups have funds set aside for people who don't qualify for other types of care. Regardless of the reason, lack of health insurance coverage can quickly translate into an unaffordable financial burden for those who require medical care. If a collection agency is trying to collect your medical debt, Bosco recommends getting an itemized bill to verify that the debt is correct.

Angie Licata
Angie Licata

Award-winning zombie evangelist. Proud pizza advocate. General zombie practitioner. Tvaholic. Award-winning travel maven.

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