Medical Debt: A Leading Cause of Bankruptcy

by DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC on July 9, 2014

accident injuryIf you have faced a serious medical condition such as cancer requiring chemotherapy or a stroke requiring physical therapy, you are likely drowning in medical debt. According to NerdWallet Health, approximately 56 million adults under the age of 65 years struggle with healthcare-related bills. Additionally, NerdWallet estimates nearly 10 million adults with year-round health insurance coverage will still accumulate medical bills that they cannot afford to pay in full within the year. As a result, many families drain their savings accounts and credit cards in an effort to pay their medical bills, and ultimately file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy case as a last resort.

If you are facing overwhelming medical debt and you are considering filing bankruptcy, it is important to time your filing right. Your income, for bankruptcy purposes, is determined by what you made during the six months prior to your petition date. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you calculate what your gross income has been and how it impacts the type of bankruptcy you are eligible to file. It is also important to look at whether you will have on-going medical treatment and when your filing is likely to be most beneficial to you in dealing with your medical expenses.

Many clients are concerned that if they discharge their medical debt, they will be unable to receive future medical care. However, pursuant to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, a medical provider cannot refuse you emergency treatment because of your bankruptcy filing or inability to pay. However, a private medical provider may be able to refuse to provide you non-emergency medical services due to your non-payment of bills. If this occurs, you have the right to find a new physician. Typically, a doctor’s office does not require a credit check for a new, incoming patient and you will be able to find a new doctor quickly.

At DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, we help businesses and families find their way out of highly difficult financial situations. We provide the advice and guidance you need in obtaining debt relief through bankruptcy and debt negotiations. We can also assist you in student loan law and defending a foreclosure action. Contact us at 414-377-0518 to discuss how our Milwaukee bankruptcy attorneys can assist you. Like us on Facebook.


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