Medical insurance has changed drastically in the United States in recent years. Far more Americans are turning to high-deductible medical insurance policies to offset the rising cost in premiums. Many people assume their medical costs will be minimal and easy to handle in the upcoming year. Some put extra money in an HSA, but many simply rely on the hope that nothing terrible will happen.
One injury or medical episode can cause it to all come crashing down, however, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills. If the deductible on your plan is high enough, you can find yourself in a major financial hole, spending all of your income trying to catch up with the medical bills that keep coming in. On top of that, you may take out additional credit cards to make ends meet as you try to get ahead of the costs. You may start missing mortgage payments because the money runs out.
Studies have found that medical bills are the greatest cause of bankruptcies in the United States.
There is hope, though. While bankruptcy seems like the worst-possible scenario, here are some things to consider:
- If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (based on a means test, which looks at income, assets and outstanding debt), your medical debt will be wiped out and discharged.
- If you do not qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy because of the means test, you could still file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which allows for a manageable payment plan of your outstanding debt.
- You could save many of the assets that you're spending trying to get ahead of the debt. Many people tap into retirement accounts or other assets that would be protected if you simply filed for bankruptcy.
- Bankruptcy doesn't follow you forever. Depending on the type of bankruptcy you file, it could fall off your record within 10 years.
- By filing for bankruptcy, you put a stop to the stress of debt. You have a stop-gap that allows you to get back on your feet and build a new and solid financial future.
McBride Law Firm provides experienced representation to individuals who are under the weight of medical bills and growing debt. We put together the solutions you need for your specific situation and help you get a fresh start. For more information, click here.