For Louisiana patients, medical care is expensive, even for those who have health insurance. In fact, individuals are often surprised by the bills they receive after going in for a necessary procedure or just one trip to the emergency room. Medical bills can be overwhelming, and they may amount to more than one person can reasonably handle.

When dealing with serious amounts of medical debt, there are a few different approaches one can take. Whether dealing with a debt collector for past-due balances or the provider directly, it is prudent to make sure the charges are accurate. A startlingly high number of medical bills contain errors. It is the patient’s right to ask for and receive an itemized accounting of all charges and to discuss these concerns with the billing department.

It can also help to appeal the insurance company’s denial of certain charges. If these attempts are not successful, it may be possible to negotiate the balance. Some creditors or debt collectors may be willing to settle for a lump sum, or it may be possible to secure reasonable payments. For some Louisiana consumers, however, any of these options are not possible.

One option for someone facing insurmountable medical bills is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This process provides a way to deal with certain types of balances once and for all while enjoying protection from types of collections efforts, such as wage garnishment or repossession. An assessment of the individual financial situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help provide guidance as to whether this is a prudent decision.