Even with health insurance, it can be exorbitantly expensive to get health care in Louisiana. In some situations, those who have emergency medical needs or require care over a period of time could be left with bills that far outmatch their ability to pay or even make monthly payments. Statistics suggest that many continue to struggle with medical debt.

Others accumulate medical debt because they no longer have health insurance due to job loss. Just because employment ends does not mean medical needs automatically end, and a patient may have to start paying for many of the things he or she needs out of pocket. After a certain amount of time without paying, the account may be sent to collections, making an already difficult financial situation worse.

A recent study of around 20 million Americans found that this group has a combined amount of medical debt in collections of around $45 billion. This means each person in this group, on average, would owe around $2,200 in medical bills. The last few months have been particularly challenging for many families, and decreased income or layoffs have impacted the ability to keep up with medical bills from past or current needs.

When medical debt goes to collections, it can lead to more financial complications for a consumer. At this point, it may be beneficial to consider filing for consumer bankruptcy, a process that can allow a Louisiana applicant to deal with unsecured debt, including medical bills. An assessment of the individual situation can reveal if this is the most appropriate way to achieve a better, stronger financial future.