Coronavirus Medical Debt Attorney Hollister
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.
What Happens If I Can’t Pay My Coronavirus Medical Bill?
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.
What If I’m Being Sued by a Debt Collector?
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.
Learn How Our Hollister Coronavirus Medical Debt Attorney Can Help
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.