Americans seek bankruptcy relief for a variety of reasons, but one that often stands out is medical care costs. For many people, only one catastrophic injury or illness stands between them and having to face financial ruin. The unexpected financial hit can change the course of their entire life.
While some people assume that it is just the unexpected medical bills that cause a problem, having to miss work is often a primary factor when it comes to finances. The exact impact that medical bills and missed work have on a person's need to file for bankruptcy is often up for debate, and it is hard to determine how many cases stem from these causes.
Crushing debt for care
Even people who have good insurance can still rack up huge debts when they need medical care. This often comes as a result of a major injury or a chronic illness. Some people end up maxing out credit cards or taking out loans just to get the care they need.
There have been studies done to find out how big of a problem medical debt is when it comes to bankruptcy in this country. Some worry about how accurate these are because they don't take a host of facts into account. The bottom line is that there are still people who end up in bankruptcy because of medical bills and related costs and this is a major problem.
Bankruptcy is often the only solution
It is often said that people can negotiate medical bills so they are able to pay them. The issue with this is that the balances are sometimes so high that the person wouldn't ever be able to pay off the balance. Also, some people just can't afford the extra expense of medical bills when they are barely making ends meet.
A study published by Health Affairs notes that one out of every six Americans has at least one medical bill that's past due on their credit report. Around 137.1 million people in this country have had a medical hardship in the past year, according to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey in 2015. It found that one-time medical events, such as a catastrophic injury, led to more troublesome bills than a chronic condition. Unfortunately, there usually isn't an easy way to plan or prepare for these.
If you are drowning in medical debt, you might need to consider taking legal action for relief. Bankruptcy can provide you with a fresh financial start by discharging your medical bills and other debts.