If you live in Mississippi and are struggling with medical debt, there are steps you can take to relieve some of the stress. First, keep in mind that it is not uncommon for there to be errors on your bills. Review your bill, and contact the provider if you have questions about any of the charges.
You can also talk to your provider about what kind of financial assistance it offers and whether you are eligible for it. Even if you do not qualify, your provider might be willing to negotiate.
Despite having medical debt, it is important that you do not let other bills slide. Your mortgage, credit card and other bills still must be paid, and failing to pay them can mean damage to your credit score. You actually have a bit more flexibility with your medical bills since providers are required to wait six months before reporting negative credit information. The idea here is to give you time to examine your options and work out a plan with your provider.
You may be able to get help in managing your debt from a credit counselor. However, you should make sure that you find a credible one who works with a nonprofit agency.
You may also want to consult an attorney who can discuss your options with you. There are situations in which the better option might be for you to file for bankruptcy. An attorney may help you determine if this is the right course of action for you as well as whether you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The former usually takes a few months while the latter involves creating a payment plan. Certain types of debt, such as alimony or taxes, generally cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.