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Keeping medical debt in check later in life

As people in Massachusetts and throughout the country get older, their healthcare expenses generally increase. One way to cover some of these expenses is to apply for Medicare. Individuals are eligible to enroll starting three months prior to turning 65 and for another four months after turning 65. Those who work for a company that has more than 20 employees can enroll for Medicare Part B and Part D after retirement without penalty.

It is important to plan for deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs that may be incurred even after signing up for Medicare. These can be covered by a Medicare Advantage program or by opting for other supplement plans. Medicare Advantage is sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C. Individuals may also be able to reduce their healthcare expenses in retirement by simply looking at their bills and asking questions.

There is a chance that something has been coded improperly or otherwise put into a bill by mistake. Those who receive medical services are urged to never assume that they owe whatever they have been asked to pay. A third party can review an invoice to help ensure that it is accurate. To make it even easier to pay healthcare costs in retirement, individuals can contribute up to $3,450 in 2018 to a health savings account.

Anyone who is having trouble paying their medical bills may be able to have them discharged through bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding may allow debts to be discharged immediately while Chapter 13 protection allows a person to have the debt reorganized and repaid over a period of three or five years. While a bankruptcy case is open, creditors are generally unable to contact a debtor or take action such as repossessing property or foreclosing on a home.

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