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Medical debt is a growing cause of bankruptcy Atlanta, GA

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Medical debt is a growing cause of bankruptcy

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As unemployment persists in Georgia and throughout much of the United States, millions of people are now dealing with the long-term loss of their health insurance. Although the federal COBRA program allows the newly unemployed to continue receiving health care coverage, those premiums are often too high for those without a steady income. And as health care costs continue to rise, even people who are employed are having trouble paying higher insurance premiums and deductibles.

As a result of the high unemployment rate and continuing increase in health care costs, medical debt has become an increasingly common reason behind bankruptcy filings in the U.S. According to CredAbility, an Atlanta-based national credit counseling agency, about 20 percent of people who have sought financial counseling for bankruptcy in 2010 and 2011 cited medical debt as the main cause of their decision to file for bankruptcy.

Although that may not seem like much, it is a significant increase from the 12 percent of people who were forced to file for bankruptcy due to unmanageable medical bills in 2008 and 2009.

According to Michelle Jones of CredAbility, one reason for the increase in medical debt bankruptcies is patients’ unwillingness to defer on medical bills. Instead, people will take out credit cards, often with high interest rates, and use those to make medical bill payments. While this provides a short-term solution, it may result in greater long-term financial difficulties. This is especially common among people who need ongoing health care, as many medical facilities will not provide continuing treatment if patients are not current on their bills.

In addition, clinics and hospitals are quick to refer patients with outstanding bills to debt collection agencies, often resulting in a bankruptcy filing.

Source: New York Times, “Medical Debt Cited More Often in Bankruptcies,” Ann Carrns, Aug. 18, 2011

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1718 Peachtree St NW, #385
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    They did an excellent job with my case. Jamie took the time to really listen and understand things. She delved into the details and was extremely knowledgeable and non judgmental. Very professional and they know what they are doing. Would definitely recommend!

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    Wow! I am finally out of debt and can say that I am debt free after completing my chapter 7 bankruptcy case with Gingold and Gingold. Mr dangled was very knowledgeable and direct with regard to my debt situation. there were no surprises and the case went as I was advised. The staff was also very helpful whenever I had a question. I will definitely recommend them in the future to my friends.

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    I cannot say enough about this law firm. From the initial consultation to our discharge, the entire office kept me updated with every step of the entire process. I came to the Gingold after a bad experience with another law firm. Ira and Jamie immediately began treating me like family through this experience. In the end, they assisted with eliminating many debts including my 2nd mortgage. I cannot say enough about the experience and knowledge that Ira brought to the table from the office visits to the court time. Thank you very much for helping me through this tough time. Thank you.

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