Obtaining relief from overwhelming medical bills

According to the World Health Organization, Americans spend more per capita on health care than any other nation, roughly 10 times the global average. Health care spending in the U.S. rose 5.8 percent in 2015 to $3.2 trillion – or an average of $9,980 per person.

Given these alarming statistics, it is no wonder millions of people struggle to pay their medical bills. As a result, an illness or injury – or even just accumulated clinic visits – can cause overwhelming medical debt.

Since medical debt is dischargeable through bankruptcy, many people are turning to this option for relief. In fact, in a 2013 study, NerdWallet Health estimated that 1.7 million people lived in households that declared bankruptcy. This figure has likely increased since that time.

“In 2013 over 20 percent of American adults are struggling to pay their medical bills, and three in five bankruptcies will be due to medical bills,” said Christina La Montagne, VP of Health at NerdWallet. “While we are quick to blame debt on poor savings and bad spending habits, our study emphasizes the burden of health costs causing widespread indebtedness.”

Bankruptcy can be a tool to help with medical debt in different ways, depending on your situation. Chapter 7 bankruptcy calls for a total discharge of these unsecured debts, but has specific qualifications that must be met. Chapter 13 discharges some debt and organizes the rest into manageable payments to be made over three to five years.

To discuss your relief options for medical debt, consider a consultation with one of our bankruptcy attorneys.