If you are struggling with medical debt, then you need not feel alone. According to a 2013 report from NerdWallet, 56 million Americans have medical debt problems, and the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States was medical debt.
The Affordable Care Act may help many more Americans get the insurance coverage they need, but having insurance doesn't guarantee that you won't be saddled with medical bills that you can't pay. For example, many patients, and especially those with chronic conditions, may end up paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket each year for prescription drugs.
Underscoring the problem, the Commonwealth Fund did a survey in 2013 that asked people if in the last 12 months they had not gotten medication because of its cost. Twenty-seven percent of the adult respondents answered "yes." Of the respondents who had insurance, 21 percent answered "yes." Of those who didn't have insurance, 43 percent said "yes." Considering the data, an analyst for the Commonwealth Fund estimated that 50 million people went without medication because they couldn't afford it.
In other cases, even people with insurance have to use credit cards to cover the cost of prescription medications. Of course, a combination of high credit card bills and medical bills can result in a sore need for debt relief. Many people spend months or even years "robbing Peter to pay Paul" before seeking bankruptcy protection.
If you would like to learn more about debt relief options in Minnesota, then please visit our Chapter 7 bankruptcy overview.
Source: CNBC, "Medication costs fuel painful medical debt, bankruptcies," Dan Mangan, May 28, 2014