Medical Debt No 1 Cause Of Filing for Bankruptcy

Medical debt is the leading cause of filing for bankruptcy in the United States. Medical debt can be accrued in a number of ways, but is most often due to a lack of proper health insurance or unforeseen medical conditions and emergencies that are not adequately covered by insurance policies. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act many people are hoping that this trend will not continue, but as of right now it remains a very real and pressing concern for millions of Americans, many of whom are faced with overwhelming debt and unsure where to turn.

Reasons for Medical Debt

A recent study showed that 62% of households facing major debt cited medical debt as a big part of their problem. These debts come in the form of unexpected emergency room visits, which can be expensive even if a person has health insurance and are prohibitively so if the person does not. They also come in the form of dental work, which is a separate kind of insurance not generally covered by basic health plans. Dental work can easily run into the thousands of dollars, and is the kind of work that, when needed, is absolutely needed ASAP.

Another huge factor in outstanding medical debt that gives people thoughts of filing for bankruptcy is the out-of-pocket costs of prescription medications. Prescription drugs can cost an arm and a leg, and are notoriously difficult to get covered under typical health insurance plans.

Health conditions that lead to skyrocketing debt are generally related to obesity and to the effects of age, and those suffering from such conditions and the associated debts are filing for bankruptcy at an increasing rate.

Another worrying statistic in the study is that households already saddled with medical debt are less likely to seek treatment when needed, wishing to avoid further debt burden and filing for bankruptcy.

In addition, even after filing for bankruptcy, which can clear giant chunks of unsecured debt, many people are afraid to go in for new treatment, since they likely would still not have proper insurance and would not be able to discharge new medical debt for several years after the initial discharge.

1.7 million people will be filing for bankruptcy due to medical debt this year, the study estimates. Luckily the protections offered by filing for bankruptcy are strong and able to discharge most of the debts incurred by those suffering from poor health or accidents – but the larger issue is that poor health and accidents are a reality of life, and it feels like something is inherently wrong when a system fails to account for these realities in a meaningful way.

The P.R. Smith Law Group aims to help local residents resolve their debt issues and achieve a financially healthy future. They provide high quality legal representation that helps lower monthly debt payments, stop wage garnishment,prevent foreclosures and repossessions, and stop calls from creditors. P.R. Smith bankruptcy lawyers in Tampa have many years of experience in all aspects of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Medical Debt No 1 Cause Of Filing for Bankruptcy

Medical Emergencies: Leading Cause of Bankruptcies in America

There are several reasons people file for bankruptcy. What may come as shocking news is that most people are a SINGLE major health issue away from considering bankruptcy as an option. How can this be when majority of families have some form of health insurance? For one thing, it all depends on a number of circumstances. Here are a few examples of what needs to be considered:

• What type of insurance you have
• What sort of medical issue you have
• What is the co-pay percentage

Medical bills are actually the biggest cause of bankruptcies within the United States. In 2013 alone, almost 2 million people had filed for bankruptcy citing medical bills as their reasons. Even health insurance provides minimal help in preventing these cases.

Why?

One reason is that the average co-pay in most plans is 20%. This works out well for check-ups and minor injuries but if you happen to contract a major illness or get in a serious accident, you could possibly rack up a bill over $50,000 where you would need to cover 20% or $10,000 along with the deductible. For just about anybody, this would be a life-changing tragedy that necessitates seeing a bankruptcy lawyer.

Who are affected?

Of those who have stated medical bills as their reasons for filing bankruptcy, 78% of them had medical insurance of some sort. Most of those affected were educated middle-class families. 1 out of 5 Americans will face problems paying medical bills this year. Accidents and life-changing diagnosis can happen to anybody.

Even with proper savings and good spending habits, the burden of some medical bills is simply too much for most people to handle. This is a problem that an estimated 56 million Americans will need to face this year alone.

What can happen?

Seeing as most health care institutions employ their own means of collecting debts, overdue health bills are treated the same way as other types of debt regardless of the fact if you are now incapable of maintaining your job due to your health issue. You can expect similar means of debt collection such as multiple phone calls, court ordered actions, and other harassing techniques.

How to address the issue?

Bankruptcy is, and should always be, considered as the final option and should only be seriously considered once all other options are exhausted. Lawyers that specialized in bankruptcy are also experts when it comes to finding working solutions for debts. Your best course of action would be to seek the assistance of a bankruptcy lawyer as soon as you are facing a massive medical bill.

The common belief is that credit card debt or mortgages are the main causes for filing for bankruptcy. Most people are caught blindsided by such big bills that they find themselves at a loss for what to do. Simply having the knowledge that 3 out of every 5 bankruptcies are caused by medical bills is already a good start. Knowing is always half the battle and it always beats being caught off-guard.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Medical Emergencies: Leading Cause of Bankruptcies in America