Negative consequences of medical debt in Florida

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Monday, December 1, 2014.

Many people in Florida will experience a medical emergency or be diagnosed with a serious illness that will result in high medical bills. People who have not saved an adequate amount in an emergency fund to cover such unexpected expenses may find themselves consequently buried in high medical debt as a result, even if they have health insurance.

People who are struggling with high medical debt also are more likely to suffer other collateral consequences as a result. If they are unable to make the payments, the debt is likely to be turned over to a collection agency and reported to credit bureuas. Debt collectors may also then file lawsuits, resulting in potential judgments, garnishments and liens.

Studies show that people who have unmanageable credit card debt often struggle to pay other bills as a consequence. People may be unable to keep up with their mortgage payments, utility bills and food costs as a result of trying to keep on top of medical bills. Some people will also skip needed doctor's appointments, forgo filling prescriptions and skip needed follow-up treatment. Studies have shown that 75 percent of the people who have high medical debt and who file bankruptcy as a result of that debt also have medical insurance.

People who are struggling to pay high medical debt may benefit by considering bankruptcy as an alternative. Doing so may provide the person with a fresh financial start while simultaneously affording relief from the outstanding debt. For that reason, those who are struggling may wish to consult with a bankruptcy attorney concerning their debt relief and debt management options.

Source: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, "Medical Debt among People with Health Insurance", Karen Pollitz, Cynthia Cox, Kevin Lucia and Katie , November 23, 2014

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