Many people are under the false impression that there is a type of bankruptcy that will alleviate your medical bills while ignoring your other debts. This so-called “medical bankruptcy” is simply a myth, and not an option offered in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. While this answers the simple question of whether you can get a medical bankruptcy in the state of Iowa, it doesn’t present an alternative solution for your unpaid medical expenses. So what can you do if you’re buried under past due hospital charges? If you need medical care, how will you be able to pay for it?
If you have medical bills you cannot pay or your insurance won’t pay, then you need an alternative solution. But if you have major health issues, money may not be the first thing on your mind. It is important to note that hospitals that receive federal funding are required to treat you even if you have past due medical bills. While you are responsible for your medical expenses in the end, there are circumstances in which you cannot be turned away due to your inability to pay your medical debt. While this is a relief, it’s also important to try to stay as fiscally responsible with your medical expenses. If you know you cannot pay a medical expense, consider alternative solutions, such as free, volunteer-run clinics.
So where does bankruptcy come in? If you have a large amount of unpaid medical bills, your best option may be to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is intended for those who have accrued debts so large that full payment is literally impossible. People who file for bankruptcy frequently have multiple types of debt, although you can have enough debt in one area (i.e. student loans, mortgage payments, and medical bills) that a bankruptcy is necessary. So in a sense, you can get a “medical bankruptcy,” but you will be required by bankruptcy law to list any and all other debts that you owe.
Upon filing for bankruptcy, you need to be aware that a doctor may refuse to treat you at a hospital, clinic, or office if you have past due payments. As I said earlier, however, he or she cannot make that decision if they are federally funded. As you can see, filing for bankruptcy and receiving medical treatment can get very complicated when occurring simultaneously. For that reason, it is incredibly important that you consult with a competent bankruptcy attorney to discuss you options regarding bankruptcy and medical bills in Iowa. Attorney Sam Marks of Marks Law Firm is an expert in U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and can answer any further questions about health issues and bankruptcy. Call today to schedule a free consultation arranged around your schedule. We’re sympathetic with your current situation, and want to help you coordinate the financial side of things while you and your family focus on your health.