Medical problems have set people’s goals back since the beginning of time. In the era of modern medicine, survival and quick recovery has become more common. It has, however, become more expensive. Some people find themselves recovering from the financial aspect of health care for the rest of their lives.

Medical bills are a top reason for serious debt or bankruptcy, especially in New Hampshire. Student loans add stress but anyone can suffer with unexpected health care costs. Workers and seniors may believe they are protected from these shocks by insurance, but problems can interfere. If surgeons practice independently in health systems or people rely on retail emergency medical facilities, large bills can still be sent to individuals.

The first reaction of many patients is to ignore a large medical bill, assuming that insurance carriers will take care of it or that a greedy health system is deceiving them. But these problems can grow when collection agencies take over. New Hampshire is one of several states where patients have liens on their homes due to medical debt. Some people may have wages garnished.

Patients must be more specific when asking hospital administrators about insurance coverage. A facility may accept insurance while physicians and surgeons who work there out of network do not. Emergency care should not create a financial emergency.

If debts are great enough to consider bankruptcy, an attorney is able to help review a person’s financial situation and recommend next steps. Legal representation can also help with appearances in bankruptcy court or the need to refile if protection is initially denied.