The amount of medical debt that one can create in almost no time is often astounding. A procedure that only takes an afternoon could land you in debt that you can never fully pay off.
This is why medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. People who have made excellent financial choices for their entire lives are often not prepared for that type of debt. It’s impossible. To understand why, let’s look at some of the most expensive medical procedures.
A heart transplant
When the heart has a defect or serious injury, the only solution may be a transplant. It often needs to happen quickly. It also costs more than $1.6 million. It’s safe to say that the average American does not have that much money on hand, no matter how badly they need the transplant.
A lung transplant
Similarly, a lung transplant can be as much as $930,000, and that’s just for a single lung. If you need to have both of them replaced, it can run up to nearly $1.3 million.
A liver transplant
If you need a new liver, perhaps after damage from medication or alcohol, it could cost as much as $878,000. The liver is a critical organ in that it filters blood, excretes bile and regulates chemicals. Serious problems can arise when it is not working perfectly, but can you afford to have it replaced?
While these are examples of extreme costs, even simply having $50,000 in debt for a more minor procedure is more than most people can afford, which is why it’s so important to know how bankruptcy may help.