Dealing with Medical Debt

Struggling with medical bills is no uncommon thing. This is underscored by a recent survey. In the survey, individuals were asked various questions regarding medical bills.

The survey found that individuals without insurance had a particularly high likelihood of experiencing difficulties in paying medical bills. Over half (53 percent) of the survey respondents without insurance reported experiencing such difficulties in the past year.

While the medical bill struggle likelihood was not as high among the respondents with insurance, there were still plenty of insured respondents who reported having had such struggles in the past year. Around 20 percent of insured respondents did.

Trends of higher insurance deductibles and more restrictive provider networks are among the trends that some point to as being contributors to why there are many insured individuals who struggle with medical debt.

So, even when one has medical insurance, the possibility of facing medical bill struggles can be a very real concern. For the insured and uninsured alike, having problems when it comes to paying medical bills can be very scary. Such struggles could lead to a person making a variety of sacrifices, including significantly cutting down their spending, deeply cutting into their savings, taking on more debt, changing their living situation, changing their work situation, and taking a hit to their overall quality of life.

Thus, when facing medical bill problems, a person could feel quite disheartened and may be worried that they are without good options for getting themselves free of the situation. However, there are options out there for addressing medical debt problems. For example, in some instances, Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the debt discharges it can yield can prove helpful in getting free of crushing medical debt. Bankruptcy attorneys can provide individuals who are facing medical debt struggles with guidance on whether bankruptcy might be a useful debt relief solution for them.

Source: The New York Times, “Even Insured Can Face Crushing Medical Debt, Study Finds,” Margot Sanger-Katz, Jan. 5, 2016

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