“No Surprises Act” gives patients back control

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Bankruptcy |

Bankruptcy is often the last thing that people want to consider when they are struggling with debt. They may worry that a bankruptcy will make their lives even harder, because their credit will be damaged and they may have no way to get further money if they run into financial trouble.

Realistically, bankruptcy could be helpful to you if you’re struggling with medical debt. Since medical debt is unsecured, a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy could help you get it discharged.

That being said, many people would avoid serious debt if they know what a medical procedure would cost.

The cost of a medical procedure will now need to be discussed ahead of time

At the start of the New Year (2022), laws changed in Indiana. One act that you need to get to know is the “No Surprises Act,” which now requires hospitals to tell patients how much a procedure is going to cost at least five days before it occurs. This requirement only asks that the hospital provides an estimate, but that estimate should be fairly accurate so a patient has the opportunity to look for lower-cost options or to make arrangements to cover the costs.

The goal of this act is to make it clear that patients should have the right to approve or opt out of procedures. They may also be able to shop for a lower price at a different hospital, since not all medical facilities charge the same amount for similar procedures.

Being upfront about costs could help minimize the risk of bankruptcy

When people know how much medical care will cost, they can start taking steps to prepare for it. For example, if someone knows that their medical care will cost $5,000 out of pocket, they may be able to postpone a procedure while saving the money or get the procedure with their budget in mind. This also helps them plan to repay debts when they’re made, so they don’t have as high of a risk of being caught off-guard with a large bill.

For now, if you have a significant medical debt that you feel overwhelmed by, remember that bankruptcy can still help. It may offer you the relief that you’re looking for.