What happens if you don't pay off medical debt?


by sydni , in category: Debt , 3 years ago

My brother had to go to the hospital a year or so ago for an emergency. The bill ended up being nearly $20,000. He doesn't have the income to pay that kind of bill back. He hardly has enough to get buy with other debt and issues within his family. What if he doesn't pay this back? What will happen?

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5 answers


by elliott , 3 years ago

He won't go to jail for not paying hospital bills. Medical bills are civil debts. As per the law, you can't be sent to jail for not paying medical bills. You can try find help with medical debt or even try negotiate it.

by trinity_mueller , 3 years ago

Nothing will come of it. It would be too costly for them to take him to court and they would end up losing money at that point. Like mentioned, you can't actually face jail time for such thing. Since the debt isn't massive, they will likely just pester him for a few years and it will be dropped after 7. I know it can be scary when they threaten you but they just want their money, that is all.


by natalie , 3 years ago

From what I was told, if it totals over 30 grand, they are likely to take it to court to try and get something out of you but from what I read online, they don't seem to bother with debts unless they are well over 50 grand. I think it really depends on the hospital and the state. I have a friend who owes 60 something thousand from a car accident. She was in the hospital for 8 days without insurance. She has not paid a dime on it and it has been 3 years, nothing have come of it yet.


by reanna , 3 years ago

It really depends. A lot of people don't ever pay them back and while some people may never get hurt by this, others will. It is a risk. I think it is best to just pay them off when you can. Even if it takes a few years.


by lavinia , 3 years ago

You can be taken to court for it. I would estimate that you chance of being taken to court for it if it is under 20 grand is like 15% but if it is over 50 grand, you are more than likely going to be taken to court.