Legal counsel can help determine how to handle medical debt

It is common knowledge that many people are shouldering staggeringly heavy medical debt, especially as premiums and deductibles get higher and higher. We have posted blogs about medical debt and bankruptcy in the past, but unfortunately individuals and families continue to face financial strain because of high health care bills.

No matter how careful a person or family is with money, health problems are not predictable and few have the kind of money saved that would adequately cover medical emergencies. Many are still in financial recovery from job losses in the recent recession and sudden medical costs can again set back hard-fought financial recovery.

A recent article in Becker Hospital Review surveyed a variety of data sources about consumer medical debt. Some of the statistics provided include:

· Among the insured, 20 percent report trouble with medical debt and among the uninsured, more than half.

· Of insured individuals with medical-debt trouble, about one-quarter cited unexpected claim denials and about one-third cited out-of-network medical care that was not covered.

· Private insurance holders with higher deductibles are at greater risk of medical-debt problems.

· Among both insured and uninsured consumers with medical-debt problems, about one-third had at least $5,000 in medical debt, including 13 percent with at least $10,000 in medical debt.

Any New Mexican facing problematic levels of medical debt should speak with an attorney to learn about what legal options may be available. For example, a medical provider may be willing to set up a reasonable payment plan or even reduce the amount of debt in exchange for a lump sum payment. Legal counsel can also help the consumer examine whether bankruptcy is a potential option under the circumstances.

In Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico, the law firm of Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; Jacobus has bankruptcy attorneys who offer expert handling of Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and can specifically provide advice as to bankruptcy and its alternatives.

We represent many debtors and creditors in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Taos, Raton, Farmington, Gallup, Grants, Roswell, Los Lunas, Placitas, Belen and the rest of New Mexico. Contact Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., at (505) 273-3720 to set up an appointment or visit the firm's website at giddenslaw.com. Giddens & Gatton Law,amp; P.C., is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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