If you happen to be suffering from seemingly insurmountable medical debt in Salem, you are not alone. In fact, according to data shared by CNBC.com, nearly 2 million people in the U.S. were driven to bankruptcy by medical debt in 2012, placing it atop the list of reasons why Americans seek such protection. Yet if you are like most, it is not as though you are trying to shirk your financial obligations; rather, you may simply not have the resources to fulfill them.

If this is the situation you currently find yourself in, you are not without options. Any of the following suggestions may help you to satisfy your debts to your healthcare providers and to finally close the book on this painful chapter of your life:

  •          Carefully review your EOB: It’s a requirement that you are given an Explanation of Benefits which describes the services that you received. Examine this to ensure that you were billed correctly, and that your claim was submitted to your insurance (if you have it).  
  •          Talk to your provider: It is easy to forget that doctors are essentially small business owners, and that they just want to be paid for their services. This may make them more willing to take whatever you can offer, even if it is less than what you were billed.
  •          Don’t be afraid to consider bankruptcy: Given the high costs of healthcare, it may not be feasible for you to pay off your bills in a timely fashion. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows you to the time to repay those debts while also being protected from further collection actions.

While the information given above should not be viewed as legal advice, it could serve you well in your attempt to manage any large medical expenses you may have already accrued.