High Medical Expenses Still the Biggest Drivers of Bankruptcies

The size and scope of debt created by medical expenses continues to be the biggest cause of bankruptcies in this country. According to a study by NerdWallet Health, a division of the price-comparison website, bankruptcies resulting from unpaid medical bills will affect nearly 2 million people this year. Nerd Wallet predicted at the time of the study – done in 2013 – that households with 1.7 million people will have sought bankruptcy protection.

Unfortunately, the problem does not confine itself strictly to people without health insurance. The study projects that nearly 10 million adults with year-round health-insurance coverage will still accumulate medical bills that they can’t pay off this year. “With an average American family bringing home $50,000 in income, a high medical bill and a high-deductible insurance plan can quickly become something they are unable to pay,”NerdWallet Health Vice President Christina  LaMontagne said. “If you have an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000 or $10,000, that’s really tough,”

It has been hoped that since 2013, the Affordable Care Act would cut down the number of families who file bankruptcy to get out from under the weight of medical bills. The Obama administration estimates that the number of uninsured people in the country has dropped by 12 million. But many of the people who have purchased insurance on the health exchanges have opted for policies with high deductibles up to $5000.

Furthermore, people who had put off getting medical treatment for serious conditions end up needing more expensive treatment so even before they had the opportunity to secure health insurance, their accumulated medical bills were extremely high.  According to LaMontagne, “25 million people hesitate to take their medications in order to control their medical costs. Unfortunately this can lead to even worse financial outcomes as preventative treatments are not rendered and patients end up using expensive ambulance and ER care as their health worsens.”

In Albuquerque, Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. has bankruptcy attorneys who offer expert handling of Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases and can specifically provide advice as to disposition of property in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases.. The New Mexico firm represents many debtors and creditors in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Raton, Farmington, Gallup, Grants, Roswell, Los Lunas, Placitas, Belen and the rest of New Mexico. Contact Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at giddenslaw.com. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.