Like many Florida residents, numerous people around the country end up owing thousands of dollars in medical bills that they are unable to pay. Finding medical debt relief is not always easy. In fact, several nonprofit hospitals file lawsuits against individuals who are unable to pay their bills each year. Recently, some of those hospitals became the subject of an investigation.
The hospitals in question had programs on the books for debt forgiveness. Furthermore, patients below a certain income level are also supposed to receive free health care. There are also other programs for reduced costs. However, many patients were unaware of these programs and were still being sued for unpaid medical bills.
The stories told by patients are not unusual. The hospitals that were the subject of the investigation say they are working to change their policies in order to make patients aware of debt forgiveness and relief programs. Nonprofit hospitals are supposed to be there to serve patients who face financial challenges. Instead, many of them are pursuing legal action against low income families. Fortunately, some of them are changing their policies, though it remains to be seen whether patients benefit from it.
For those who are not offered any medical debt relief options, there could be another avenue to receive a fresh financial start free from the oppression that debt can cause. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy has given many Florida residents the opportunity to deal with their finances. When the proceedings are over, certain debts could be discharged, and the filer typically achieves the chance at a brighter future.
Source: npr.org, “Nonprofit Hospital Forgives Debts And Stops Suing So Many Poor Patients“, Chris Arnold, June 2, 2016