Interior Photo of Miller Flannery Law LLC

Distinguished Legal Representation With Small-Town Service

There’s no need to drive to Indiana’s larger cities. Find the legal help you are looking for in your own community.

Medical debt and bankruptcy in the United States

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Bankruptcy |

While filing for bankruptcy in Indiana is a great way for consumers to shed overwhelming debt and find peace about their financial future, one way to avoid future problems is to identify where the debt started in the first place. According to CNBC, a key contributor in two-thirds of every bankruptcy is medical issues and debt. Unfortunately, many cannot prepare for when they will be sick and injured, and the health care industry changes almost daily, making it hard for some to have the coverage they need if they get sick.

Another major problem with medical debt is that consumers assume that their health care insurance will cover their treatment when it may not. Those who rely strictly on their current coverage may be surprised when an unexpected illness or injury happens, and they start receiving medical bills.

On top of the fact that health care coverage may be inadequate, research shows that most families do not have an emergency fund. Medical emergencies can lead to thousands of dollars in unexpected bills. This can drain the family’s savings quickly or leave a consumer paying off medical debt for decades to come.

The Atlantic states that planned surgical procedures and emergency room visits are the culprits when it comes to medical costs that consumers cannot cover. While some hospitals are required to cover costs for uninsured and low-income patients, this number topped $38 billion in 2017 and millions of people were still left with sky-rocketing medical bills to pay on their own.

The problem with medical debt is that it often discourages individuals from seeking medical help when they need it because they know they cannot afford the bill. Rather than increase their debt, they avoid the doctor completely, which can lead to life-threatening illnesses or even death. Bankruptcy may be the ideal way to shed medical debt and start fresh.