Just how big of a problem is medical debt?

Most people understand that the healthcare system in the United States is incredibly expensive. For a lot of people, the cost is so high that it’s prohibitive. They can’t get the care that they need because they simply can’t afford it, even when they have insurance on their side.

But it’s easy for those who haven’t had this experience yet to think that this issue isn’t a huge problem for the general public. However, when you start digging into the impact that medical debt has on people’s lives, you can quickly see that it is an issue that affects millions.

The top cause of bankruptcy

For instance, did you know that medical debt is the main reason that people file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the United States? It may not be the only reason that they have to file, but it is a major contributing factor. Nothing else plays into bankruptcy cases as often as medical debt.

This also exposes just how easy it is for bankruptcy to happen to anyone. Many people who suddenly have a lot of medical debt haven’t made any big financial mistakes. They have lived their lives as well as they can and they have been smart with their money. But that may not mean that they have $50,000 to pay for the care that they suddenly need. They may not even have $5,000. The amount of debt that you can accumulate after just a few days in the hospital can be astronomical and there may be no other way you can address it.

If you do find yourself in this position, make sure you are well aware of all of the legal options you have.

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