People file bankruptcy for many different reasons, and it often has nothing to do with their money management skills, or even their spending habits. In 2013, NerdWallet found that it was medical bills that put the biggest strain on Americans’ finances. Health care was the number one reason people filed for bankruptcy.
Older Americans are not the only ones strapped with the high costs of health care expenses. NerdWallet found that 56 million Americans under the age of 65 have problems paying their medical bills. About 15 million of these adults will end up depleting their savings to pay their debts. Another 11 million use credit cards to cover hospital bill payments, and the credit scores of 17 million Americans will decrease due to medical bills.
Uninsured Americans are not the only ones who receive statements from health care providers that are difficult or impossible to pay. Ten million Americans under the age of 65 who have health insurance still face medical bills that cripple their finances. Florida residents, along with people in California and Illinois, accounted for about 25 percent of all medical-related bankruptcies.
About 10 million Americans per year have to cut back on basic necessities in order to make payments on their medical bills. For some, this method includes skimping on prescribed medication by taking less than the doctor recommended, delaying a refill or missing a dose altogether so that the drugs last longer.
Will a bankruptcy resolve the situation?
Filing for bankruptcy is a serious decision, but it is far from an indication of financial failure. People who are struggling under the weight of high medical bills without hope of recovery might want to talk to a bankruptcy lawyer about their options. Many Americans discover that a bankruptcy may provide a path out of debt so that they can get back to a place of financial stability.