Many residents in Florida and around the country are enjoying the benefits of a stronger national economy. One indicator that reflects the economic improvement is the amount of people who file for personal bankruptcy. According to recent reports, the number of filings for both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy have decreased by 50 percent in the last six years. An analysis by Consumer Reports suggests that a possible reason for this decline could be attributed to the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.
The report states that the expanded coverages many people received under the ACA may have helped them prevent filing for bankruptcy. While specific causes for filing are not recorded, bankruptcy commentators say that medical expenses are likely a main cause for personal bankruptcies. Exorbitant medical bills can mount quickly, especially for those without insurance. With the ACA, many could get the needed care without the expenses accumulating.
Financial analysts note that provisions within the ACA likely prevented some individuals from filing bankruptcy. For example, providing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions helped many individuals. Likewise, anyone with serious medical issues would benefit from the ban on lifetime limits. If the ACA ends and new legislation is enacted, some experts hope that similar provisions are included in future laws.
While the ACA has likely helped many Florida residents, others may still be struggling. An experienced attorney can help someone thoroughly understand his or her situation and determine if filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be the best option. A knowledgeable bankruptcy lawyer will work with clients to get them back on their feet financially.
Source: ABC 7 Chicago, “Consumer Reports: Personal bankruptcies decline under ACA”, June 27, 2017