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Medical Bills and Bankruptcy: Health vs. Wealth?

Medical bills are now one of the biggest reasons why a person chooses to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Rhode Island.  The last few years have been very tough on the pocket books of most Rhode Island families.  Factor in the cost of health care and illness and your finances can fall apart even faster.

It’s a given that life is getting more expensive, but more Rhode Islanders are discovering just how expensive getting sick really is.  Everyone knows that it’s important to stay healthy and to seek medical help.  But with health care costs rising, many are putting their health on the back burner. When choosing between wealth or health, most are using their limited finances to pay for mortgages, car loans, food and other necessities and foregoing health insurance.

Bankruptcy due to illness or injury is clearly on the rise in Rhode Island.  Recent studies show that medical problems contribute to about half of all Chapter 7 cases filed.  Even if you have health insurance, you or your neighbor could be just one illness or accident away from needing to file for bankrutpcy relief.

Most people filing for bankruptcy relief due to medical bills, also known as a medical bankruptcy, are primarily middle class.  While medical bankruptcy is not a real type of bankruptcy, the term has become more popular.  This is due to the increase of people having to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection because of too much medical debt.  For many Americans, filing bankruptcy to wipe out medical bills has become the new insurance policy.

While more than half of those filing for bankruptcy had medical coverage, their average out-of-pocket costs, including co-pays and deductibles, was around $12,000.  For those without insurance, there is little hope of ever being able to repay the debt.  Most are forced to file for bankruptcy because many hospitals or medical offices refuse to accept affordable payment plans.  The debtors have no way out other than to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The good news is that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can discharge medical bills.  You don’t have to continue to struggle with unaffordable medical debt.  If you are being sued by a hospital or other health care provider, call a skilled Rhode Island bankruptcy lawyer.  He will answer your questions and go through all of your medical and non-medical bills.  If you qualify under the median income figures for Rhode Island and have not filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the past 8 years, you may be able to file your case and wipe out your debt immediately.

About Mark Buckley

Consumer Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, and debt-settlement attorney licensed in RI & MA. I am the only bankruptcy lawyer who is a certified financial planner professional. 

To plan your estate, or resolve debt concerns, call me at (401) 467-6800.