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3 myths about medical debt debunked

Medical debt is very common, and it's one of the main reasons people in Ohio file for bankruptcy. That said, there are some common myths about it that should be debunked.

First, many people think medical bills need to be paid instantly, as soon as they show up in the mail. The reality, though, is that the complicated billing process often results in errors, and they can increase the debt beyond what should be owed. Debt should only be paid after taking the time to go over all of the various charges, even if it takes a while to do so.

Another myth is that collections will not be involved until you are given many different notices. This is often true for credit card debt and things of this nature, but not medical debt. It's very possible that you'll get the initial bill and then hear nothing else about it until collections calls.

Finally, some people believe that medical debt doesn't have the same impact on your credit score as, say, missed mortgage payments. However, the truth is that all debt factors in. If you don't pay your hospital bills, your credit score can fall, just as it will if you ignore any other loans you take out. Though medical debt is not accumulated in the same way as a loan, the financial impact can be the same if everything is not handled correctly.

As noted above, medical debt often pushes people into bankruptcy if they can't afford their bills after an accident or an illness. If you're in this position, you must know about all of your legal options.

Source: Everyday Health, "4 Misconceptions About Medical Debt," Lacie Glover, accessed June 04, 2015

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