In 2009 and 2010, the national debate roared around health care reform and the changes it would make to the country. Many proponents of health care reform cited the medical debt crisis that plagues Americans, leading many to file for bankruptcy. In fact, at the time of the health care debate, medical debt was the number 1 leading cause of bankruptcy. Unexpected illness, pre-existing conditions, and other situations could all lead to medical debt. However, in 2013, despite the passing of several years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, medical debt remains the number 1 cause that drives Americans to meet with a Tampa bankruptcy attorney.
Medical Debt Keeps Financial Tensions High
According to the latest research, approximately 1.7 million Americans are expected to seek the counsel of a bankruptcy attorney in 2013 thanks to medical debt. Even with insurance, 15 million Americans deplete their savings accounts because of medical costs and many are looking to bankruptcy as a solution to skyrocketing medical bills. This comes as a major surprise, as health care reform was intended to lower costs across the board. This data comes from the U.S. Census and the Centers for Disease Control.
While the number of Americans seeking guidance from a bankruptcy attorney to handle medical debt is relatively steady, there are even more who are grappling with payments. The research shows that 56 million American adults are struggling with medical debt payments; this represents approximately 20 percent of the United States population. One of the issues of medical debt is the high-deductible plans that many Americans find themselves in. While more Americans may be covered thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the cost of medical treatment, medications, and other health expenses hasn’t been addressed.
Nearly 3 out of every 5 bankruptcies are filed because of medical debt. While a bankruptcy attorney is skilled in handling every financial situation possible, they are seeing more cases of medical debt than ever before. Because of the recurring costs that can potentially accompany medical debt, a bankruptcy attorney has to handle the case differently from mortgage or credit card situations.