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Health Insurance & Medical Debt

Why Health Coverage May not be Enough to Prevent Bankruptcy

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As anyone who's ever gotten sick knows, illness can be expensive—even if you have health insurance.

The problem is that too many Americans are "underinsured". Some estimates show that one in four Americans have minimal health insurance that doesn't protect them against medical emergencies.

Those with no or inadequate health insurance are more likely to put off treatment for minor ailments until they become emergencies—and expensive.

Consider the costs of health care, even with insurance:

  • Premiums: the monthly investment you or your employer makes in your health care plan. To avoid higher premiums, many Americans choose less-extensive plans.
  • Co-pays: the amount of out-of-pocket money a patient must pay for doctor's visits, prescriptions, and other services
  • Deductibles: the total amount a patient must pay, typically annually, before the health insurer begins paying its share.
  • Exclusions: some procedures are exempt from health insurance coverage, leaving the insured patient to pay full price.

The fine print many health insurance plans make it difficult to know exactly what the insurance company will cover—until the bills arrive.

Reasons for Under-Insurance

The sad truth is that few Americans consider themselves underinsured until it's too late.

The reasons Americans might be carrying inadequate coverage include:

  • Pre-existing conditions: Insurance companies may deny coverage for chronic health that the patient was aware when first joining the plan, or there may be a waiting period before coverage begins.
  • Cost of premiums: Those living paycheck-to-paycheck may see health insurance as a burden on their income, and select the plan that will cost them the least in premiums. However, those cost savings may come with higher deductibles and co-pays.
  • Poor understanding of plans: Some patients may make the mistake of assuming they have better coverage than they do. Sometimes, however, insurance companies can go out of their way to leave their customers with confusing and inadequate health plans.

Discuss Medical Debts with a Local Attorney

Don't let unexpected medical bills ruin your financial situation. If you're one of the millions of insured Americans burdened with medical debt, you can discuss your situation with a local bankruptcy attorney.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide you with a fresh financial start, discharging your unsecured debts.

Learn more about your options under personal bankruptcy laws. Simply fill out the form below or call toll-free 877-833-2410 to connect with an attorney in your area today.

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