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Medical debt a leading cause of personal bankruptcy

Florida residents who are facing bankruptcy may reach that point in their lives through a number of different paths. For many, the financial setbacks that led to a serious debt crisis were beyond their control and are the result of a spiraling set of circumstances that could neither be predicted nor stopped. Medical debt is a prime example, and illness or injury is a leading cause of bankruptcy filings across the nation.

When an individual is ill or injured, a series of events is placed into motion. He or she may require emergency medical care, the costs of which can be staggering. Next comes physical therapy or rehab for some, which is a necessary but costly course of action to recover from the medical issue. Some patients even require drug therapy, often for long periods of time. Any and all of these costs can add up quickly, and they are not expenses that can be avoided when one’s health and well-being is on the line.

It is estimated that Americans paid more than $41 billion in out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses in 2013. Even those with health insurance are not immune from financial ruin due to a health issue. Many make cuts where they can, sometimes going without necessary medications or treatments in order to try and avoid financial strife. In the end, however, many Americans emerge from a serious illness or injury with a mountain of debt and no way to pay it back.

For those in Florida who are facing this scenario, it is important to understand the assistance that is available through seeking personal bankruptcy. The bankruptcy process can lead to the elimination of medical debt through discharge, meaning that filers will never have to repay those debts. Once the process is complete, individuals emerge with a new beginning and the ability to move forward without the shadow of excessive debt. Going through a serious medical issue is difficult enough; no one should have to add financial ruin to that burden.

Source: CNBC, "Medication costs fuel painful medical debt, bankruptcies", Dan Mangan, May 28, 2014

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