Even with insurance, health care is expensive. It is common for a patient to leave the hospital after a necessary surgery or treatment for a medical concern to start receiving bills within the next few weeks. In fact, surprise medical bills are a growing problem for people in Louisiana and across the country.

These surprise expenses happen for various reasons. In some cases, they occur because a patient got care from a provider who was not part of network coverage. In other cases, bills come because the doctor may have been part of network coverage, but others who provided specific types of care or played a role in the patient’s treatment were not. Many believe these billing practices are harmful at best and deceptive at worst. The result is that patients who cannot pay are stuck with bills they were not prepared to handle.

Insurance companies are primarily concerned with their bottom lines above all else. They do not care that policy changes and deceptive billing practices negatively impact people in Louisiana and elsewhere. Some believe that the U.S. Congress should step in and pass legislation that will put an end to these types of practices. However, any type of legislation that will protect patient rights appears to be in the distant future.

Medical bills are costly, and they can catch a consumer by surprise. These expenses can be even more difficult to manage, especially when there are credit card bills and other payments to make each month. For some, options such a personal bankruptcy may be the most effective and appropriate way to regain a solid financial future.