The last words you ever expected your doctor to say to you when you went in for your regular checkup were that you have cancer. A cancer diagnosis can come as a shock. It can be difficult to wrap your head around. In fighting your cancer, you may find it physically and emotionally challenging, and financially draining. Most cancer patients end up in serious debt.
The expense of cancer treatments is outrageous. Yet, they are necessary if you want to survive or at least prolong your life. Insurance providers, sadly, do not usually cover the full cost of treatment, which can leave you and your loved ones in a bad economic situation. What can you do?
Debt relief options
Believe it or not, there may be debt relief options available to you. The Cleveland Clinic suggests looking into financial assistance. If you qualify, the amount you have to pay out of pocket may be greatly reduced. To qualify, though, income restrictions usually apply.
If you do not qualify for financial assistance, it may be possible to work with your medical provider to settle your debt for a lower amount. Some hospitals are willing to write off some or all of your medical debt. You won't know until you ask.
Finally, if you still find yourself owing a ridiculous amount in medical debt, there is always bankruptcy. Did you know, that through a bankruptcy filing your medical debt may be discharged or at least broken down into affordable payments? It can happen, if your bankruptcy petition receives court approval.
Types of bankruptcy
There are two types of consumer bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. If you lack sufficient income, you may qualify for a Chapter 7 filing. If approved, this type of filing can result in the clearing of all your eligible debts.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, is for those whose income levels are sufficient to make some type of payment. If approved, you make payments on a three to five year repayment plan. Debt discharge at the end of the repayment plan is possible.
Need more information?
If you are not sure exactly how to handle your medical debt situation, you do not have to figure it all out on your own. With help, you can seek to either reduce your debts owed through the negotiations process or seek relief through bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can offer more information on the debt relief options that will best suit your needs.