Finding Relief From Debt
  1. Home
  2.  — 
  3. Bankruptcy
  4.  — Gaps in health insurance often lead to Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Gaps in health insurance often lead to Chapter 7 bankruptcy

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Bankruptcy

Health insurance helps make the often otherwise exorbitant costs of modern healthcare accessible. Private health insurance policies can pay for the cost of someone’s surgery or for the expenses involved with physical therapy as someone recovers after a car crash.

Many people take for granted the idea that they have financial support in the event of an emergency because they have health insurance. Unfortunately, some people learn the hard way after a motor vehicle collision or a cancer diagnosis that the policy they currently carry does not provide very effective financial protection. Many insurance policies have gaps in coverage that can leave people with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt by the time they finish their treatment.

Policies pass costs on to patients

Every insurance plan has some degree of patient responsibility costs. Sometimes, those costs come in the form of a copay. The patient has to pay a set amount of money every time they have an appointment with a certain type of medical professional or each time that they pick up a prescription from the pharmacy.

Many policies have deductibles that apply. The patient has to pay for a certain amount of care with their own money before the insurance company starts to pay for their treatment. Deductibles often impose thousands of dollars in patient responsibility costs. Policies may also include coinsurance, which makes a patient responsible for a certain percentage of their overall treatment costs. Those costs can add up to a major financial burden, especially if someone’s medical challenges prevent them from working a job.

As if those expenses weren’t bad enough, many insurance companies also do not cover the newest and best treatments available. Those who want experimental cancer treatment, for example, may end up covering a sizable percentage of those costs with their own funds.

Medical debt is often difficult for people to manage on their own. Medical creditors are notorious for taking aggressive action against individuals, such as placing liens against their homes. People who owe large medical debts may need to explore alternative means of addressing their medical bills. For some people, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be the best solution.

Particularly when they have gone without income because of medical challenges and have high levels of debt, bankruptcy might be someone’s best tool to prevent aggressive collection efforts, such as a lawsuit. It can also be a way to eliminate the burden of medical debt when someone cannot feasibly expect to repay medical debts on their own.