There’s a little known practice by hospitals and rehab facilities that many are noting as a cause for the increasing number of California bankruptcies filed due to overwhelming medical debt: it’s a Medicare technicality – a simple classification or checkmark on a form.
When you are first admitted hospital staff classifies you with a checkmark either in the “inpatient” box or “observation” box. This can make a drastic difference to your bill and your coverage. If the “inpatient” box is checked upon admittance or during your stay, a significant portion of the hospital bill (and any inpatient rehabilitation that follows) will be covered. But if the “observation” box is checked instead, you could find yourself responsible for a very high hospital bill for your stay and any care that was provided.
Many people aren’t aware of the issue and, as such, aren’t aware of which classification they have been given until they receive the bill for services they expected to be covered. This little technicality ends up costing individuals tens of thousands of dollars. This is money many don’t have; particularly those who are living on a fixed Social Security income.
Medical bills have long been noted as a major cause of bankruptcy. Problems like this result in a higher number of people in need of help. Bankruptcy can alleviate the financial burden obtaining proper care can create. Whether your medical bills are based on a chronic illness or a minor technicality, the end result is the same. You are being held responsible for a debt so astronomical in comparison to your potential income and current assets that there is no possible way that you will be able to successfully pay it off.
Medical bills are undoubtedly a catalyst for bankruptcy. Don’t let your medical debt consume you, contact the southern California bankruptcy experts at Westgate Law today.
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