In a day and time where the so many are underinsured, or uninsured altogether, medical debt is an increasing problem. A recent study shows that even minor amounts of medical debt can result in an increase in bankruptcy filings.
Since 1990, the number of consumers filing for bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical debts has nearly doubled. It was determined that just two years ago, 1.4 million bankruptcy filings were due to medical debt troubles. While medical debt is not the sole source of debt troubles among those filers, the debt level among them was highest for medical related costs. Further, it was determined that when medical debts increase by as little as 10 percent, the likelihood of needing bankruptcy protection increases by 36 percent.
The results of the study point to a clear relationship between medical debt and a greater need for bankruptcy protection. Fortunately, bankruptcy affords us the chance to regain control over our financial lives and move past medical burdens towards better health. Hopefully, findings such as these can guide policies that could work towards reducing the burden of medical expenses that many will unavoidably face in the future.