When the Affordable Care Act was passed, one of its major goals to protect people from the ruinous medical debt that many people have been forced to incur after a single, catastrophic accident or if they suffer from a chronic illness that prevented them from getting insurance. Relief from medical debt has become the No. 1 reason Americans seek bankruptcy protection, and the ACA was meant to help.
Urgent medical needs cannot always wait until a patient’s income can cover the cost of the care he or she requires. As a result, overwhelming medical bills are now the primary reason that Americans file for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 personal bankruptcies.
As we discussed in our last post, more Americans file for consumer bankruptcy over insurmountable medical bills than any other reason. Of course, many people who can’t afford to pay their medical bills don’t end up filing for bankruptcy, which means there are a lot of people financially suffering over health care debt.