Coronavirus vaccination and testing are free under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and the Families First Act. However, treatment is not. We are still learning about the potential long-term complications that covid-19 could inflict on people of all ages, including chest pain, fatigue, and breathing issues, among others. But there’s another long-term adverse effect that covid-19 survivors need to deal with—crippling medical debt that could ruin their finances.
According to the 2021 Greenlining Institute Medical Debt Crisis Report, nearly 14 million Californians have filed unemployment claims between March 2020 and January 2021. The report likewise notes that medical costs due to covid-19 have left many survivors in enormous debt. This is attributed to loopholes in the CARES act that left a lot of people unprotected from excessively high covid-19-related out-of-pocket expenses performed at private health facilities and/or emergency rooms.
Request an itemized medical bill so you can easily review the charges and make certain that all the charges are accurate. If you see any errors in your bill, speak to the hospital management to discuss the errors and have them removed. You should also explore all available covid-19 related options for additional financial assistance. Likewise, if you see a charge that you know must be covered under your insurance but wasn’t, you can appeal your insurer’s decision. Otherwise, consult a lawyer for your legal options.
In general, medical providers and hospitals that don’t receive medical payments on time usually hire a debt collection agency to recover the debt or a third-party debt collection specialist. Depending on the specific circumstances of the debt, the collector could opt to file a claim against the debtor in small claims court or civil court. You will receive a notice about the claim and a date to appear in court. You will be considered “in default” if you don’t show up in court and could suffer serious penalties.
The most common consequence is wage garnishment, in which money to pay the debt will be taken out of your paychecks. This garnished amount could be up to 25% of your paycheck. The judge can likewise order the seizure of your tax refunds and even put a lien on your property.
In the event that you simply don’t have the money to pay your coronavirus medical debt, you can ask a bankruptcy attorney about the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help you fix your finances and potentially offer legal protections from debt collection.
You should get legal advice as soon as possible to explore your legal options. Also, you should know that debtors have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). There are certain restrictions to how debt collectors communicate with debtors, including calling debtors at unusually late or early hours or calling them at work. Debt collectors also cannot make false claims about the debt and are prohibited from threatening consequences that are not legally enforceable.
Debt collection remains to be a serious burden for a lot of Californians who survived covid-19. Unfortunately, it may even get worse as collection agencies, creditors, and courts start getting back to business following mass covid-19 vaccinations and relaxed restrictions.
If debt collection and covid-19 medical debt are hindering you from achieving financial stability during these very trying times, or you have other debts or are being sued by a collection agency, we can help. Get in touch with our coronavirus medical debt attorney in Hollister at Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP. Fill out our online form or call us to schedule your consultation today.
Thank you Miranda and team for the excellent service provided. Miranda is a compassionate, understating, extremely knowledgeable and professional attorney. Her team was always on top of everything making my legal process less stressful. I could never thank Miranda and her assistant Ingrid for holding my hand throughout this difficult process (literally). Miranda is one of the BEST immigration lawyers ever! I would definitely recommend her.
They represented my custody case and handled it like it is their own case and they are best in Monterey County.
The entire team at MMM are superstars! I appreciate all the time and prep that went into my original case many years ago. And now recently, I asked for some help on a follow-up custody matter that I felt I could handle myself but just needed their expertise to properly represent all the important details. They are knowledgeable, extremely thorough, and prepared me for every possible scenario. I can't thank them enough!
My partner and I sought legal advice on bringing my fiance' to the United States with this office after having called a few immigration attorney offices around Monterey County. Having never sought legal advice before it was a refreshing experience in which we both really felt that Patricia listened intently to our goals and needs, and then not only gave us thorough advice, but also she really showed a lot of empathy with our situation and all the challenges we faced in what we trying to do. I would definitely recommend this office for anyone who is unclear about what..
Working with Patricia was a professional encounter unlike any other, an absolute 5-star experience. From the first moment, we walked into our consultation until the moment our case was closed and my husband walked away with his permanent resident card Patricia was communicative, professional, and thorough. Her team contacted us every step of the way providing valuable process and law changes we would not have been able to catch if we tried to navigate this endeavor alone. Patricia answered our endless question stream with thoughtfulness and care, calling us countless times to ensure we were clear on every piece of..
Last year, I had just moved in the area and needed a family law attorney for a custody case. The process of finding/choosing an attorney could be daunting. However, when I went in for my first consultation with Levi my stress level was immediately mollified. He was personable, which made me feel comfortable to discuss my personal matters freely. I had a lot of questions of the legal process that would take place and he took the time to explain everything with meticulous detail. More importantly, when I called Levi he returned my phone calls in a timely/professional time frame...
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