Did you know that new financial numbers just released show that rising medical bills are the number one reason people file bankruptcy? More than 56 million American struggle to make monthly payments on outstanding medical bills. Not only that, but it’s expected that 2 million American households will file bankruptcy this year, with medical bills being the number one reason. It far outpaces bankruptcies that are filed due to credit card debt or mortgages.
Medical insurance should play a significant role in helping ensure individuals don’t fall victim to the overwhelming events that come when we’re unable to pay our bills. If you can relate to relentless phone calls, lost sleep, “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, then you know the stress that financial problems can bring. Even with the new healthcare laws, the problems persist.
Medical bills can completely overwhelm you with just one illness. Did you know that 25 million Americans either put off filling a prescription, take reduced amounts to ensure it stretches to the next month or avoid prescriptions completely because they cannot afford to have them filled? It shouldn’t be that way, especially in our country where resources are plentiful. Yet, it happens every day. Not only can this be detrimental to your health, but it can also result in even more illnesses and expensive doctor and hospital bills. It’s a vicious cycle.
For many, bankruptcy is the answer. With millions who have health insurance, they soon learn that it’s not enough as the medical expenses continue to accumulate. One client recently said to us, “I’ve played by the rules. I have medical insurance. I have a job. I go to work every day and it’s still not enough.” She’s not alone. It’s a sentiment many Americans – and Texans – can relate to. They know what to do, or what they’ve been taught to do to prevent problems – and it’s not enough. There are also a few things you shouldn’t do as they will only worsen an already overwhelming problem. Those include:
Don’t place medical balances on credit cards. Because credit cards often charge high interest rates for unpaid balances, debt only mounts, creating a vicious cycle for consumers. This, as you may know, will only lead to more sleepless nights and those relentless phone calls.
Don’t deplete your savings or retirement accounts to cover medical expenses. Again, it’s a no-win situation. Not only are jeopardizing the future, but of the 15 million who depleted their savings to pay medical bills last year, most were unable to wipe the balances out in their entirety. Another 10 million were unable to pay for necessities such as rent, food and utilities because of those bills. They defeated their purpose.
Don’t assume there’s not a way out. For many, it’s not until they speak with a bankruptcy lawyer that they learn the many reasons why it’s the ideal solution. No, it’s not for everyone, but if it’s right for you, the relief that comes with having it off of your shoulders is quite an extraordinary feeling.
Give us a call today to discuss your options. It can mean a better tomorrow with the sense that you once again have control of your life – instead of the relentless bill collectors. Our firm has helped thousands of Texans just like you reclaim their life. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that new beginning.