According to a recent study, medical debt has become the number one reason Americans file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Medical debt has been rising exponentially in recent years, and has now eclipsed credit card debt, which had been number one for some time. According to the study, somewhere in the vicinity of two million people and families will file for bankruptcy related to medical debt in 2013.
Avoiding Medical Debt
According to the study, many people make choices in order to avoid medical debt that may be resulting in poorer health and medical care. For example, if health coverage does not provide for the cost of prescription medications, many people choose not to have those prescriptions filled, avoiding the cost of the pills but also foregoing the salutary effects of the medicine.
Similarly, those without satisfactory health coverage may be avoiding emergency room visits or even primary care in order to avoid falling into debt, according to a prominent bankruptcy attorney. But the problem is not limited to those without health coverage, and that is the really disturbing trend. A mounting percentage of middle-class wage earners and those with employer-provided coverage are seeing medical bills skyrocket. Whether this is because insurance providers are finding more ways to avoid covering certain procedures, or whether the costs associated with care are simply becoming overwhelming, the study does not say. But the trends are disturbing to say the least.
If you find yourself faced with medical debt and cannot see a way out, consult with a Tampa bankruptcy attorney to guide you to a solution for your financial future and health.