The Nursing Home Debt Nightmare
“Don’t get sick” is both the truest piece of financial advice and the most difficult to follow. Approximately half of adults in the United States have medical debt, and what you should do to address the debt depends largely on whether or not you are still young enough and healthy enough to work. If you are, then the best strategy is to be honest with creditors about your financial struggles and try to get them to reduce the amount you owe, or at least let you pay the debt in a larger number of installments, with a low monthly payment amount, so that you can avoid getting your bills sent to collection agencies. If you are too ill to work, you should lawyer up sooner rather than later. It is no secret that the bills are among the most painful symptoms of many chronic illnesses, but a recent report on the National Public Radio website describes the underhanded tactics that nursing homes use to collect money from the sickest and most financially vulnerable patients and their families. If you are struggling with debt because of your own chronic illness or that of a close family member, contact a Boca Raton debt lawyer.
Are You Responsible for the Nursing Home Bills of a Family Member?
Medical bills can destroy the finances of working people who suffer a temporary illness or injury that is severe enough to require treatment, so how much worse is the situation with nursing home care? No one undergoes treatment at a nursing home unless they have a long-term illness that prevents them from working. Long-term care insurance pays for the nursing home care of patients who are able to afford this insurance and have enough foresight to buy this insurance while they are still in good health. Medicare and Medicaid should pay for the nursing home care of patients who do not have private insurance, but, to the surprise of no one who has undergone medical treatment in the United States, nursing homes find ways to bill consumers to exorbitant amounts.
The NPR report tells of consumers who received bills from nursing homes where family members of theirs were undergoing treatment. These consumers had not agreed to be financially responsible for their elderly relatives’ care. In many cases, they had simply listed their contact information on forms when helping the elderly relative seek treatment. The nursing homes seemed to seek payment from whichever family member seemed most able to pay, as if they knew they could get more money out of a patient’s 50-year-old son than they could out of the patient’s 80-year-old wife. If you get a bill from a nursing home where a family member of yours has undergone treatment, you should not pay it; instead, you should contact a debt lawyer.
Contact a South Florida Debt Lawyer About Medical Bills You Can’t Believe the Creditor Had the Audacity to Send
A South Florida debt lawyer can help you if you are getting threats from bill collectors over medical debts that you do not owe. Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Boca Raton, Florida to discuss your case.