Many Florida residents with medical debt are middle class
While many people assume that individuals with medical debt are poor or don’t have insurance, the reality is that increasing numbers of people who owe doctors and hospitals money are in the middle class. While many people do not get needed medical care because they are uninsured or under-insured, individuals still frequently go to hospitals to obtain care and do not or are not able to pay.
Additionally, even if people have insurance, they may still end up with medical debt. According to the Mississippi Hospital Association CEO, if people aren’t able to pay a deductible, they’re also unlikely to pay a hospital what they owe.
As a result of people’s increasing inability to pay for medical debt, it is a leading cause of people filing for bankruptcy. One lawyer stated that people purchase catastrophic health insurance but don’t set money aside for high deductibles or costs that health insurance will not cover. He further stated that he had seen growing numbers of people filing for bankruptcy after accruing large amounts of medical debt and maxing out lines of credit.
Due to how quickly medical debt can rack up, it is not uncommon for people to end up owing more than they are capable of paying back. In these cases, people may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows people to reorganize their debt and come up with a payment plan, which gives them three to five years to make a dent in what they owe. In some cases, remaining debt is eligible for discharge. A lawyer could explain the pros and cons of a Chapter 13 filing as well as the eligibility requirements.