Tag Archives: MedicalBills

Bankruptcy Myth #1: Bankruptcy Will Wipe Out Your Personal Retirement Fund

There is a common misconception that bankruptcy will cause you to lose everything, including your retirement savings. First and most importantly, bankruptcy is for people who have assets they want to protect. Second, bankruptcy can protect your retirement savings from difficult financial situations. Depending on the type of retirement plan you have, the entirety of or most of your retirement savings are protected when filing for bankruptcy. In 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) was passed. The law protects many different types of retirement plans from creditors, such as 401(k), 401(b), defined benefit pension plans, IRAs, profit sharing plans, money purchase plans and ESOPs. If you have an ERISA-qualified plan, you may keep the entirety of your savings. ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, was a law passed prior to the BAPCPA. If you have a traditional or Roth IRA, you may keep a…
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Should Surprise Medical Bills Be Banned?

A California woman recently made national news for being conned out of $18,000 in surprise medical bills through a process known as ‘balance billing’. The woman went to her doctor to receive an epidural nerve block, but was not informed that the assistant surgeon and anesthesiologist conducting her procedure were out-of-network. In other words, the doctor was covered by her insurance policy, but the other two specialists were not. In-network providers under your insurance policy face limits for what they charge under the Affordable Care Act. Depending on the state, out-of-network providers may not be restricted by how much they can bill. A person may go to an in-network hospital, but receive treatment from an out-of-network health professional who can bill whatever they want. Patients would have to conduct extensive research before receiving treatment to avoid balance billing. Consumer Reports claims one in four Americans have been harmed by balance…
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Is Your Health Insurance Policy Putting You at Risk for Medical Debt?

Health insurance policies with high deductibles are causing many people to accumulate excessive medical debt. Unfortunately, health insurance deductibles have increased by 67 percent since 2010. Deductibles are the amount policyholders must pay before their health insurance policies cover medical expenses. When deductibles increase, policyholders may be at risk for accumulating medical debt. More than half of the country cannot cover emergency bills exceeding $1,000. Some health insurance deductibles are now $5,000! We can use a hypothetical scenario to explain why high deductibles can put you at risk for medical debt. How Health Insurance Deductibles Create Unaffordable Medical Bills Dave works at a small business in Kansas City. Like other Americans working at small businesses, Dave has an individual health insurance policy bought through the health care marketplace (or health care exchange). One day, Dave comes down with a severe respiratory infection and seeks treatment at his local hospital. At…
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