It’s practically inevitable that at some point in your life you will need medical care. Some Texans find themselves requiring more extensive treatment, though, which can lead to larger medical bills. Many hoped that the Affordable Care Act, passed during the Obama administration, would help curtail those costs and make affordable medical care accessible to all. Yet, although the legislation hoped to reduce the risk of financial ruin caused by medical expenses, the fact of the matter is that Americans are seeking medical-related bankruptcy with all too common frequency.
In fact, a recent study found that about two-thirds of all bankruptcy filings between 2013 and 2016 were related to medical conditions. This means that more than 500,000 families seek bankruptcy protection each year due to missed work on account of a medical condition or the bills associated with caring for that condition. This number is pretty consistent with pre-ACA bankruptcy figures.
Many say that the main culprit of these bankruptcies is many people’s under-insured status. While many obtain health insurance from their employer, these plans are often inadequate with high premiums and deductions and low maximum coverage rates. This means that far too many Americans are just one injury or illness away from financial devastation.
The overwhelming stress that can accompany medical debt can be debilitating. Yet, those facing financial uncertainty shouldn’t let their fear paralyze them. Instead, they should diligently work to protect themselves from creditors.
Although many take pride in their ability to manage their debts, or at least their attempt to, many of these individuals can find financial relief quickly if they just decide to accept reality and act in accordance with the law. Therefore, those looking to ease or even eliminate the burden of excessive medical debt may want to speak with an attorney about how Chapter 7 bankruptcy may set them on the path to a fresh financial start. Taking the step to become well informed could help one take an even bigger step to resolve debt problems.