One of the most overlooked aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is that while many people will survive the virus, they might still end up facing large medical bills. As early as the beginning of March, 54% reported in a survey conducted by Prudential that they were not financially prepared to handle the coronavirus.
There are many other people in Ohio who have been left with overwhelming medical debt as the result of a medical emergency. Given the costly nature of medical bills, it should come as no surprise that medical bills are one of the most common reasons why people in the country end up filing for bankruptcy.
The Devastating Nature of Medical Debt
Because people are not required to provide details about their reason for filing for bankruptcy, it is difficult to determine the exact percentage of people who pursue this option as a result of medical debt.
There are, however, many factors that can quickly make medical debts larger than a person can ever possibly pay. For one, rare and serious diseases often require substantial medical care. Second, medical emergencies like car or motorcycle accidents often result in victims facing several serious injuries that require immediate and on-going care.
These complications also tend to cause people to miss work, which can only increase the overall difficulty in managing these expenses. Losing a job can leave a person without the necessary resources to pay off medical debt. Another reason why medical debts often escalate is that healthcare costs in the United States are continuing to rise. Since 1980, healthcare costs have increased at a much sharper rate than inflation prices.
Bankruptcy Can Help Eliminate Medical Debt
If you cannot make the minimum payments on your medical bills each month and your debt continues to escalate, it is critical to remember that bankruptcy for medical debt often allows people to either eliminate or restructure debt of this nature.
While Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows people to liquidate, Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows people to establish a repayment plan. The type of bankruptcy that will work best to take control of a person’s situation often depends on the circumstances.
If a person meets the income qualifications for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, there is not a limitation placed on the amount of medical debt that a court can discharge. If a person chooses to utilize Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however, that individual will be required to repay some of this medical debt over the life of a several year repayment plan.
Following the completion of these payments, courts will discharge any remaining debt. While Chapter 7 is often ideal for people with low income and few financial resources, Chapter 13 is often viewed as people who have a steady source of income and who would like to continue making payments on their debt.
Speak with a Skilled Bankruptcy Lawyer
No matter if you have already decided to file for bankruptcy or merely want to learn more about this method of taking control of your debt, it can help to speak with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney.
To schedule a free case evaluation, contact Dworken & Bernstein today to schedule a free case evaluation.