If you are struggling to keep up with bills from a recent medical emergency or procedure, you are not alone. After suffering an injury or dealing with a prolonged illness, you may find it more difficult to pay your regular bills and debts while managing what you owe to doctors, surgeons, specialists and hospitals. In fact, you may be at the point where your creditors are beginning to contact you about past due accounts.
The last thing you need so soon after your recovery is the stress of financial burdens. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy to gain some relief from your debt, you should know that medical issues are one of the most common factors that lead to bankruptcies in Texas and across the nation.
Common factors in medical debt
Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which mandated health insurance for all Americans, the rate of bankruptcies for medical debt continued to increase. Each year, about 530,000 families in the U.S. file for bankruptcy following a costly illness or injury. Some of the following items are factors in many of these cases, and you may find some similarities in your circumstances:
- You have seen a steep increase in co-payments and deductibles for your health care insurance provider.
- You suffered a loss of income because of time off for illness or medical issues.
- You lost or left your job due to illness, which means you lost your employment-based health insurance.
- You were underinsured to handle the cost of a chronic or catastrophic illness.
- The rising cost of health care, including prescription drugs, makes it impossible to afford what you need.
In fact, for many, the cost of health care and lack of quality insurance means they do not go to the doctor when they should. You may be among those who put off checkups or ignore worrisome symptoms because you simply cannot afford to pay more medical bills. When it becomes too much to bear, you may already be in a medical crisis.
Reach out for help
Facing a medical problem is stressful enough without the added burden of unmanageable debt. The struggle to pay your medical bills along with your other creditors may take its own toll on your physical and emotional health.
While you may not choose bankruptcy as the ideal situation, the relief it may bring you from your overwhelming debt may provide you with peace of mind you have needed during this difficult time. Consulting with an attorney is your first step in learning about the advantages and options available for dealing with medical and other debt.