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New Jersey bankruptcy: ACA governs medical bill collection

Most New Jersey residents would agree that going to the doctor can be nerve wracking. Depending on why a patient is there, doctors and nurses are performing examinations and tests that aren't often comfortable. Then the bill comes, and patients often wonder which was worse, the exam, or the shock of seeing the bill. If a patient had to be admitted to the hospital for any reason, the bills could make bankruptcy an attractive option.

A lot of New Jersey residents end up struggling under a mountain of medical bills through no fault of their own. The way the economy is today, people quite often do whatever they can to avoid going to the doctor. The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, is designed to prohibit certain collection techniques that hospitals have used in the past.

Medical professionals are supposed to evaluate each struggling patient to determine their ability to pay. If they are found to have a legitimate problem paying, the patient is supposed to be presented with options. Unfortunately, there are medical professionals who do not follow the ACA, and patients who should have been protected under the act end up being sued by collection agencies.

Even when a medical professional complies with the Affordable Care Act, there is no guarantee that a patient will be able to handle paying their medical bills. Filing bankruptcy in order to discharge a mountain of medical bills is a viable option for anyone struggling with medical debt. Chances are, if a patient is having a problem paying their medical bills, they may also be having a problem paying any other bills they may have. Filing for bankruptcy protection could give any New Jersey resident struggling with debt a new beginning. After all, relieving the stress that debt can cause is surely good for your health.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Health care law protects some debtors from unscrupulous hospital collections," Elliot Raphaelson, Sep. 4, 2012

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