How Crippling Medical Debt Contributes to the Growing Bankruptcy Problem In Arizona
Why Medical Debt Can Cause People To Turn To a Bankruptcy Attorney For Debt Relief
Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. Statistics vary about the number of bankruptcy cases tied to medical debt, and concrete stats are hard to get since filing for bankruptcy does not require you to provide a narrative of what led to your debt problems. However, different studies have been done that have returned some big numbers. One study published in The American Journal of Medicine in 2007, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren as one of the researchers, found that 62.1 percent of personal bankruptcy filings were caused by medical debt.
Here’s why medical debt can cause many people to turn to a Gilbert bankruptcy attorney looking for debt relief:
Serious Illness or Injury
Most people don’t take on crippling medical debt from a case of pneumonia or a broken leg. What usually causes this kind of medical debt is a major illness or injury. For example, someone who gets cancer will need to have ongoing, intensive medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or multiple surgeries. If you are in a serious accident, you might have multiple serious injuries that require ongoing medical treatment, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
These are the kinds of illnesses and injuries that incur ongoing, high medical costs. You have to see specialists and get intensive treatment, and that all adds up very quickly. Most people do not have the savings to cover these kinds of costs, and they end up losing it all.
Loss of Income
If you become seriously ill or are seriously injured in an accident, you aren’t going to be able to work. You can’t expect to go to chemotherapy and then head into the office. Some people have insurance to cover them from short- or long-term medical leave, but most people don’t. Even those who have the insurance are not always covered for the duration.
If you cannot bring in an income and you are looking at rising expenses, it won’t be long before you lose the means to pay for your basic needs, let alone your debts. It’s no wonder that many people in this situation end up seeking relief through Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Rising Healthcare Costs
Medical costs are already overwhelming for many people, but the situation is primed to only get worse. Medical costs are constantly rising, and many people are not able to keep up. Insurance is not always a solution because premiums are getting higher, as are deductibles and co-pays. Many people are also underinsured, meaning that they end up with huge medical costs even after their insurance pays out.
If there are a lot of people filing for bankruptcy because of medical expenses now, we can expect there to only be more in the coming years unless something changes. You can protect yourself by getting the best insurance policies you can, saving as much as you can, and being proactive about your health care.
If you do find yourself over your head in medical debt, like so many others, you should contact a bankruptcy attorney to learn how filing for bankruptcy may help you. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can completely discharge unsecured debt, like medical debt, helping you to wipe the financial slate clean. If you can’t qualify for Chapter 7 because you make too much money, you can file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get your debts reorganized under a repayment plan that you can actually afford. You may also choose Chapter 13 bankruptcy over Chapter 7 because you have other debts, such as a second mortgage that you took out in an attempt to pay some of your medical expenses. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you catch up on those payments and save your home. Talk to a bankruptcy attorney about the best strategy to maximize your debt relief through bankruptcy.
Contact Professional Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers
Call Gilbert Bankruptcy Lawyers to learn more about how bankruptcy can help you, whether you are struggling with medical bills or other overwhelming debt. Our experienced and compassionate bankruptcy attorneys represent clients seeking protection under Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. We’ll review your finances and help you understand which option will give you the most debt relief while also helping you to meet other goals, such as keeping your home. Call us in Gilbert to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney and learn more.