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Kentucky patients among those struggling with medical bills

Kentucky residents with outstanding medical and health care bills might be able to take action in reducing the stress that comes with unmanageable debt. Even the insured can have difficulty paying their out-of-pocket expenses after the insurance companies have paid what they deem to be their share.

The National Center for Healthcare Statistics recently published the results of a study on how Americans deal with medical expenses. The expenses in the study included medications, medical procedures, hospital stays, surgeon and doctor fees and nursing costs when confined to a rehabilitation facility. The insurance coverage is usually less than complete, which can leave the patient with a balance large enough to prompt a debt load that can be very hard to manage.

Medical bills are the main cause of financial difficulty leading Americans to file for bankruptcy. The NCHS estimates that 10 million Americans may face potential struggles in paying their everyday living expenses due to high payments they must make to pay off medical bills. According to financial experts, in 2013 alone, approximately 1.7 million people filed for bankruptcy when they could no longer keep up with their medical bills. Residents of California, Florida and Illinois accounted for 25 percent of that total. For those who are diagnosed with cancerous conditions, the number of bankruptcies more than doubles. Adults ranging in age from 18 to 65 are less likely to struggle with medical bills than those who are under 18 and living with their families.

It may be wise to consult with a bankruptcy attorney if outstanding medical bills have become unmanageable. The attorney can determine if Chapter 7 would be an appropriate form of debt relief.

Source: Healthline, "20 Percent of Americans Struggle to Pay Medical Bills", Brian Krans , April 09, 2014

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