Medical debt is actually a bigger factor in people filing for bankruptcy then credit card debt. Don't be a statistic and file for bankruptcy if you are plagued with medical debt! Below are some guidelines which can help you pay off or deal with your medical debt instead of filling for bankruptcy.
Don't transfer medical debt to a credit card
Avoid transferring any medical debt you have to a credit card. Doing a balance transfer to a credit card is not a good decision because usually the interest you will incur will significantly raise your total balance. Moreover, usually the interest rate is lower on medical bills versus a credit card. Furthermore, if you transfer the medical debt balance to a credit card you usually will reduce your chance of getting Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility is largely determined by your gross income. Therefore, any medical debt you have lowers your gross income whereas any credit card debt you have will not lower your gross income.
Be proactive and stay on top of your bills
Second, be proactive with your medical bills. Missing payments can severely hurt your credit and can result in additional fees and interest. Therefore, the more proactive you are with your medical bills the better chance you have of preventing your credit score from declining.
Negotiate payment plans if unable to pay and/or work with credit counselors
If you are unable to make payments call the hospital or doctor's office you have medical bills and try to negotiate a payment plan that fits your budget. If you feel more comfortable, have a debt settlement or credit counseling company do this for you. These companies are experts in negotiating with creditors (hospitals, third party billing agencies, collection agencies etc) to either help you get a more reasonable payment plan and even sometimes negotiate your total medical debt to a lower balance amount. To start this process, fill out the form at the top here. Make sure you record the companies, names, numbers, and the dates of phone calls for anyone you are dealing with (whether you are negotiating directly or having a company negotiate for you).
Look to charity organizations for help
By doing a simple search online, you can probably find many non profit organizations, churches, or community organizations that might be willing to help you with your medical debt. Realize though, that most organizations usually help those individuals who are the neediest first.
Apply for Medicaid
If possible look to apply for Medicaid. Medicaid is a dual sponsored program by federal and state funding. Each state offers Medicaid and the plans vary from state to state. Try to research your state and see if you are eligible for Medicaid. Depending on your state, past medical bills may be covered or partially covered by your state Medicaid plan. Here is a link to get started: http://www.cms.hhs.gov