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Medical debt could be on the rise

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2018 | Bankruptcy

Many people in Virginia are struggling with overwhelming debt that seems to be insurmountable. For far too many people, medical debt can be a major reason for their inability to pay their bills and escape financial crisis. Reports show that health care costs for Americans are continuing to increase in 2018 and patients are assuming a larger portion of the cost of their medical care. According to some estimates, 20 percent to a half of the U.S. population are dealing with medical debt. Due to the large costs associated with health care, the amount of this debt can be crushing in many cases.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) noted that people under 65 who were unable to pay their medical bills experienced a five percent decrease in medical debt between 2011 and 2016. However, another study conducted that year found that 20 percent of Americans with insurance were struggling with medical debt and over half of uninsured Americans were dealing with difficulties caused by medical debt.

Medical debt can often transform into other types of consumer debt. Some reports indicate that one-third of patients have dealt with medical bills by paying with credit cards, and 44 percent of them suffered a lowered credit score as a result. This means that many people can have additional health care costs spread around on credit cards, which are often less negotiable than direct medical bills.

When people are struggling with overwhelming bills, including ongoing medical debt, they may be looking for a solution that could help them achieve a clearer financial future. For some people, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy with its ability to eradicate many types of debts may be a good option. A bankruptcy lawyer can help people dealing with debt to find relief and stop creditor harassment.