Medical Bills and Bankruptcy in America: Why Healthcare Hurts

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Do you know the number one reason why Americans file for bankruptcy?

It’s not credit card debt, or unpaid mortgages. And it has absolutely nothing to do with people being irresponsible with money, failing to save, or living beyond their means.

Unpaid medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

In fact, three out of every five bankruptcies in our country are due to medical bills. Data center NerdWallet has compiled the following statistics regarding medical bills and bankruptcy:

  • 1 in 5 Americans will struggle to pay medical bills this year – that’s 56 million people.
  • Over 10 million adults (ages 19-64) will forgo basic necessities such as food, rent, and heat in order to pay their medical expenses.
  • Over 25 million adults (ages 19-64) will not take their prescription medicine as indicated in order to save money – by skipping doses, delaying refills, or cutting pills in half.

We all know that the health care system in the United States is broken. Pricing for hospital stays, life-saving prescriptions, and even routine medical care is out of control. It’s almost impossible to learn the cost of a medical treatment in advance, and one minor accident or illness in the family can easily lead to a mountain of debt.

Not only are you hit with a serious diagnosis, intensive hospital procedures, and/or an extended recovery period – you’re also smacked in the face by the highest healthcare costs in the industrialized world.

Having health insurance should help, but even the insured are faced with massive health care costs that the insurance company won’t cover. Insurance plans today often feature huge deductibles of several thousand dollars, high out-of-pocket expenses, and elevated co-pays for health care and prescriptions. Even with health insurance, 10 million insured Americans ages 19-64 cannot pay their medical bills.

Even worse, a medical issue often sidelines one of the family’s earners, reducing income and further adding to the burden of bills. It gets harder and harder to pay for groceries and everyday expenses – and then the credit cards come out.

Many people have no choice but to dig themselves even deeper into debt by using their credit cards to pay their living expenses and medical bills. Other families drain their savings, refinance their mortgages, or sell their family homes. Even with all these measures, filing for bankruptcy is often the only way out.

The Good News Is: You Are Not Alone! Our Compassionate and Experienced Attorneys Offer Free Bankruptcy Consultations

At Pew Law Center, our Mesa AZ bankruptcy lawyers are on your side. We know all about medical bills and bankruptcy. We’ll work with you to guide you towards a brighter financial future, so that you can sort out the stack of medical bills once and for all – and truly get back on your feet.

Health problems are a fact of life – but a stressful financial future doesn’t have to be part of yours. Call (480) 745-1770 to get help now.