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Millions of Americans file bankruptcy because of medical bills

New Jersey residents may have heard that new combined financial data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Commonwealth Fund, and the federal court system is now revealing that medical bills have beaten out mortgages and credit card debt as the major cause of bankruptcies among American consumers. The financial hardships imposed by high unpaid medical bills even affect people who have health insurance. Close to 10 million adult Americans who carry health insurance are still expected to have medical debt that they will be unable to pay this year alone.

Entire families are being overwhelmed when an accident or illness hits them, and there are 25 million patients who are not taking their prescribed medication in an effort to keep their medical costs down. In the long run, this could end up costing them more when they need higher-priced medical treatment, a visit to the E.R., or even a short but expensive ride in an ambulance.

Information from the New Jersey Law Journal, the New Jersey Star Ledger, the Atlantic City Press, and the Burlington County Times reiterate some of the numbers and facts, including the sheer number of adults who are struggling to keep up payments on medical debt, which is 20 percent of adults ages 19 to 64.

Since estimates also show that 10 million families will have to forego paying for dire necessities like food, utilities and rent due to medical bills, bankruptcy could be a better option than going without. If your family is struggling with unpaid medical bills like many other consumers in New Jersey, a consultation with a bankruptcy law attorney who has years of experience could offer you a variety of debt solutions for a fresh start and the financial relief that you need.

Source: NBC News, “Biggest cause of personal bankruptcy: Medical bills”, Dan Mangan, June 25, 2013

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