Americans Hard-pressed to pay for Healthcare
America may be a world leader in many areas, but healthcare affordability is not one of them. According to a recent survey conducted by Health Affairs, American adults, more than the citizens of any other industrialized nation, avoid critical healthcare because of the high cost of coverage.
This comes as no surprise to bankruptcy lawyers, and certainly not to those who have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief due to unavoidable medical bills.
Health Affairs’ survey revealed several interesting facts—
- one-third of American adults neglected recommended medical care when obviously ill (whereas in Germany, only one quarter of adults went without care.)
- one-fifth of Americans reported having trouble paying off medical bills (barely 10% of Europeans and Canadians cited similar troubles.
- almost one-third of Americans surveyed agreed on the confusing nature of insurance policies and documentation.
- America reported the widest margins relative to available healthcare between income levels, with the poorest citizens receiving the least care.
Most of my clients have at least some medical debt at the time I file their bankruptcy petition. For some, it is the primary reason they need to file for bankruptcy relief. Many had either no health insurance, or poor coverage, at the time of a major illness or accident. I’ve seen medical bills range from a few thousand dollars, to hospitalizations costing over $ 100,000.
If you face a mountain of unpayable medical debt, give me a call. I can advise whether it makes sense to file for bankruptcy in your particular situation.
Mark Buckley is a Rhode Island bankruptcy lawyer and the only RI bankruptcy attorney who is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. If you live in Rhode Island and have debt problems, call Mark with your questions at (401) 467-6800.