Medical Debt Causing the Majority of Personal Bankruptcy
Posted on Mar 05, 2013
Bankruptcy and medical bills are intricately related. Every day, people call our Kansas City bankruptcy office about health care bills and medical debt, wondering if bankruptcy is an option for them.
A recent cover story from Time Magazine has received a lot of press for reporting on the reasons our health care system can be so financially crippling.
The 36-page investigative piece titled "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us" has upset a lot of people in Washington and within the health care industry. It leaves no one out - blaming lobbyists, hospital CEOs, drug and medical device manufacturers, and the insurance companies for outrageous prices and bills impossible to pay.
Reporter Steven Brill details some harrowing costs as examples: $1.50 for one Tylenol pill, when you could buy a bottle for that price on your own, $77.00 for gauze pads that would cost a dollar or two at a pharmacy, and $13,700 for a cancer drug that actually costs $3,000.
These markups benefit just about everyone except the patient. And as a result, anyone with serious medical problems - whether such problems were totally unexpected or there since birth - can find themselves in a lifetime of debt from just one bill.
In the report, Brill mentions that 60% of personal bankruptcies filed in the United States are related to medical bills. Medical debt may not be the only factor leading someone to file bankruptcy, but it is certainly one of the most common debts people need to include.
As a bankruptcy lawyer in Kansas City, I see this every day. People come in to see me with skyrocketing medical bills, and sometimes bankruptcy is the only solution. I hate that anyone has to make such a drastic choice over an illness that wasn't their fault; but bankruptcy can make a huge difference when it allows someone to get a handle on their finances again.
If you're struggling with medical bills and are considering bankruptcy, we would be glad to talk with you about your options. Contact us today for a free consultation, no strings attached.