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Hospitals modernizing the ways they collect health care debt

For many people in Ohio who have large amounts of debt, one of the big sources might be medical debt. A big piece of a person's credit information is tied to their outstanding debts; as people who have gone through a serious illness or injury knows, medical bills can add up quickly -- even to the point of spiraling out of control.

As a result, many people owe large amounts to hospitals or other health care providers. In the past, many of these entities would allow patients to pay back their balances at a very gradual rate. In fact, one hospital had a payoff plan so gradual that it could have taken more than 100 years to pay off. While this might be easier on a person's budget, knowing that a debt could be outstanding for basically a lifetime might not have been a good trade.

Nowadays, installment plans still exist; but more often than not, these payment plans are managed by third parties that offer much shorter plans -- perhaps as long as five years. Many people with large amounts of medical debt might find it difficult to pay off, even within that multiyear timeline. And, if obligations are not met, the companies still might report the non-payment to credit bureaus.

Regardless of the payment structure someone has set up, it might be worth speaking to an Ohio bankruptcy attorney. Depending on a person's type of debts, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 might be in their best interests.

Source: The New York Times, "Businesses Manage Medical Bill Payment Plans," Ann Carrns, Sept. 18, 2013

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