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Unexpected medical costs can lead to a need for bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2024 | Medical Debt

Some people think of their health insurance as an assurance that they won’t ever have to face exorbitant medical care expenses. Unfortunately, catastrophic health conditions can quickly result in thousands of dollars in medical expenses, even for those who have insurance.

People who are facing healthcare costs that are so high they can’t conceivably pay their bills may realize they have to do something before they drown in debt. One option for these individuals is filing for bankruptcy.

The high cost of healthcare

Conditions such as cancer require ongoing care, which can lead to financial ruin for many. This includes those who have decent insurance. The hidden costs and uncovered services can accumulate, creating an insurmountable financial burden for many. High deductibles, copayments and premiums, combined with the limits on coverage, often leave patients with significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Insurance may not cover everything

Many insurance policies have gaps in coverage that can result in substantial costs for patients. For example, certain medications may not be covered. Additionally, out-of-network charges can occur unexpectedly if a patient receives care from a provider outside their insurance company’s approved network, leading to higher charges that the insurance doesn’t fully reimburse. These financial gaps can quickly become overwhelming and push individuals towards a financial crisis.

The ripple effect of medical debt

The financial impact of medical debt extends beyond just the immediate bills. It can lead to a cascade of financial difficulties, including damaged credit scores, which affect the ability to secure loans, mortgages and other financial products. For some, the solution becomes a choice between paying for healthcare and covering other essential living expenses, such as food and housing. This untenable situation often forces people to deplete their savings, sell assets or even forego necessary medical treatments, further exacerbating their health and financial situation.

Seeking relief through bankruptcy

Many individuals face mounting medical debt see bankruptcy as the only viable path to financial relief. Bankruptcy can discharge or reorganize medical debts, which can provide a fresh financial start for a filer. This effort may also improve their mental state and provide them with a more stable future. As such, if you’re struggling with medical debt, it may benefit you to look into your rights and options under the law.


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