Medical care is expensive, even for those who have health insurance. A procedure, emergency room visit or unexpected medical situation can result in bills that may quickly wipe out a Louisiana consumer’s savings and outpace his or her ability to keep up. After missing payments over time, these bills may be sent to collections, a process that can be stressful and overwhelming for someone who is already struggling financially.

To make matters worse, it’s possible someone has medical bills in collections that he or she didn’t even know about. Unknown medical costs are rather common, and they can lead to significant complications. One way to avoid this problem is to know ahead of time exactly what insurance will or will not cover. A patient will find it beneficial to go through all documents from the insurance company that outline specific benefits and coverage.

Even if someone is paying on his or her medical bills, they can still be sent to collections. This can happen if the patient is only making small payments or is late on payments. To keep medical bills out of collections, a Louisiana patient may want to work with the care provider to set up a payment plan.

When medical debt is overwhelming to the point where the consumer cannot hope to ever catch up, there are options available. Through consumer bankruptcy, an applicant can deal with certain types of unsecured balances once and for all, including medical bills. An assessment of the individual financial situation can help a patient see if this is a smart step for his or her financial future.