When you're making New Year's resolutions, a good one to consider is debt reduction. Not all debt piles up from extravagant overspending -- a great number of financially responsible people find themselves inundated with medical bills. Catastrophic accidents, life-threatening illnesses and chronic medical conditions can bankrupt even the insured. Medical debt relief is out there, however, and the typical consumer is often unaware of the ways they can qualify for financial help with medical debt.

When you have more credit card debt than you can handle, a credit card relief program from American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) may be the answer. A credit card relief program is designed for consumers who are having trouble paying off their credit cards.

Differences Between Medical Debt and Other Debt

Going out and signing a loan for a brand new BMW or wearing out that credit card on a 96" screen TV is a different kind of debt than taking a life-saving ride in an ambulance, having an operation and a long hospital convalescence. If you don't pay the notes for the car or the TV, your creditors can and will come and repossess it. They have a security interest in the merchandise. But medical debt is unsecured debt, which is why it is easily discharged in a typical Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy? Really? There Has to Be Another Option

No one wants the black mark of bankruptcy on their financial history, and this is why it's the last resort for those facing financial ruin. With medical debt, you'll find creditors are usually more willing to work with you by setting up reasonable payment plans you can make on a monthly basis without breaking your budget. With so many uninsured and under-insured people out there, hospitals and physicians realize there has to be some flexibility in individual cases. This is where your negotiating skills come into play. Begin by asking to speak to, or addressing your letter to, someone with the actual authority to erase some of that debt. Remain pleasant and civil, and honestly state the facts of your case and what you are realistically able to do to clear it up. Providers realize that taking debtors to court is a costly endeavor for them -- there are attorney's fees, court costs, service fees, etc. Faced with a costly legal fight to obtain a likely uncollectible judgment, creditors will often wipe out thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars of medical debt from debtors who are sincerely making an effort to pay.

Author's Bio: 

Mary is a freelance writer, researcher, and business consultant from New York, WA. A columnist for Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com and more, Mary specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.