Many people are under the misconception that medical debt is different from other kinds of debt. While there are a couple of protections for consumers who owe medical debt, in most cases it is no different.
Medical debt can be sent to a collections agency like any other debt. However, if it is owed to a non-profit hospital, they may be required to provide financial assistance to you before it is sent to collections.
Texas has a law requiring that health care service providers bill a patient no later than the first day of the 11th month after services were provided. If the bill is not sent within the timeframe in the law, the health care service provider cannot try to collect payment for certain charges, such as anything a patient could have been reimbursed by a health plan for or any charges that a patient would not have owed had the provider billed them in a timely fashion. The details can be found in the law linked below.
In 2019, a new law went into effect protecting consumers from surprise medical bills or "balance billing."