Guiding You Toward A Brighter Financial Future

Could unexpected medical care lead to bankruptcy? 

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Medical Debt

What would happen if you suddenly needed medical care? Odds are you wouldn’t consider the financial side of it very seriously at all. You would just get the care that you needed, especially if it was life-saving or would provide you with a drastically higher quality of life.

An example of this is when someone is diagnosed with cancer. The treatment itself could cost over a million dollars. Most people are not prepared to pay this kind of bill, but they’re still going to get treatment because cancer can be a life-threatening disease. It needs to be treated quickly and effectively. They just decide that they will try to figure out the financial side of it later.

This is not uncommon

One thing to keep in mind is that situations like this are not nearly as uncommon as many people assume. For example, one study found that 19% of people in the United States do not have the money on hand to pay for the medical care they would need immediately. One out of five individuals simply does not have enough. 

Additionally, the study found that nearly a quarter of all households that had children who were minors also carried notable medical debt. When looking at individuals or couples who do not have children, the percentage was lower but still came in at 16.5%.

Exploring bankruptcy

The statistics above help to show why medical debt is often one of the top reasons that people cite when they do decide to file for bankruptcy. Other types of debt – such as credit card debt – may also be included, but it is the medical bills that really spur this decision. If you find yourself in this position, be sure you know exactly what legal options you have.