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How South Carolina residents can resolve medical debt

While crowdfunding may seem like an effective way to raise money to pay medical bills, only 11 percent of campaigns are fully funded. This is according to a 2015 study conducted by NerdWallet. Another 2015 study found that 26 percent of adults are dealing with financial issues related to medical debt. This is despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act has given more people access to health care.

Data from crowdfunding sites GoFundMe, FundRazr and GiveForward were analyzed as part of the NerdWallet study. Data from Plumfund and Red Basket were also included, and they were the only two sites that didn't keep a percentage of funds raised. Red Basket was the only site that didn't charge a processing fee. On average, individuals attempted to raise $15,721, and campaigns that were fully funded had an average of nearly 55 contributors.

Instead of turning to crowdfunding sites, it may be better for patients to deal directly with a medical biller. Most health care providers wait 120 days before sending bills to collection. Once this happens, a collections agency may report the status of the debt to a credit reporting agency, and this could result in a lower credit score. In some cases, it may be better to file for bankruptcy as opposed to letting a bill go to collections.

Those who are struggling to pay medical debt may wish to talk with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to recommend steps that a debtor can take to resolve any outstanding debt. In some cases, it may be necessary to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy may allow for a stay from creditor actions, and it may help filers have their medical debt discharged under certain circumstances.

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