There are currently over 50 million people in the U.S. without health insurance. With the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, anyone without health insurance who becomes seriously ill or suffers significant injury can face staggering medical costs that far exceed the realistic ability of most to pay the bill. The high cost of medical treatment is compounded by treatments that are not covered because they are deemed “experimental,” otherwise not covered by your health insurance or related to a pre-existing condition, which may leave a family facing medical expenses that can easily reach into tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
While there is not a special bankruptcy process for a “medical bankruptcy”, medical and hospital expenses account for more than 60 percent all bankruptcy filings. Medical expenses are unanticipated and essentially unavoidable, as no one makes a conscious choice to become sick or injured. Even carrying health insurance cannot protect someone from a medical bankruptcy because studies have shown that up to eighty percent of those who file medical bankruptcy have health insurance.
While most medical and hospitalization expenses are far too expensive for a person to afford, they are typically in the form of unsecured debts which means they may be subject to discharge in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to obtain a complete discharge of all unsecured debt including medical expenses. If you do not qualify for a Chapter 7, our experienced Arizona bankruptcy attorneys may be able to help you ease the financial pressure of massive medical bills by using a Chapter 13 payment plan that would allow you to stretch repayment out over a 3 or 5 year term and discharge any unsecured balances on these medical bills at the end of the payment plan.
Sometimes health care providers will request security for financial obligations such as a lien against your home. We may also be able to use the bankruptcy process to protect your home and home equity against secured obligations related to medical expenses. Our Arizona medical bankruptcy law firm has represented hundreds of family’s buried under massive medical expenses throughout the state.
While it is still unclear how the new health care plan will impact medical bankruptcy, medical bankruptcy has been on the rise in recent years. Bankruptcy related to medical expenses has risen by nearly fifty percent during a recent six-year period. The majority of those who filed medical bankruptcies during this period were not the poor or unemployed but educated middle-class homeowners according to The American Journal of Medicine.
There is no completely reliable way to protect oneself from massive medical expenses related to a serious unexpected injury or illness. The experienced Arizona bankruptcy lawyers at Stone Rose Law have seen firsthand the devastating impact that massive medical expenses can wreak on the financial wellbeing of a family.
Stone Rose Law is committed to helping families rebuild and move past the financial hardships created by massive medical costs associated with an illness or injury so call us today at 480-498-8998 to see how we can help.