From the New York Times:
NASHVILLE — “Some of the debtors sitting forlornly in this city’s old stone bankruptcy court have lost a job or gotten divorced. Others have been summoned to face their creditors because they spent mindlessly beyond their means. But all too often these days, they are there merely because they, or their children, got sick.
Wes and Katie Covington, from Smyrna, Tenn., were already in debt from a round of fertility treatments when complications with her pregnancy and surgery on his knee left them with unmanageable bills. For Christine L. Phillips of Nashville, it was a $10,000 trip to the emergency room after a car wreck, on the heels of costly operations to remove a cyst and repair a damaged nerve.
Jodie and Charlie Mullins of Dickson, Tenn., were making ends meet on his patrolman’s salary until she developed debilitating back pain that required spinal surgery and forced her to quit nursing school. As with many medical bankruptcies, they had health insurance but their policy had a $3,000 deductible and, to their surprise, covered only 80 percent of their costs.
“I always promised myself that if I ever got in trouble, I’d work two jobs to get out of it,” said Mr. Mullins, a 16-year veteran of the Dickson police force. “But it gets to the point where two or three or four jobs wouldn’t take care of it. The bills just were out of sight.”
Although statistics are elusive, there is a general sense among bankruptcy lawyers and court officials, in Nashville as elsewhere, that the share of personal bankruptcies caused by illness is growing.”
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I would say that over one half of the folks that we see in our office have a significantly large enough medical debt that they are unable to pay it in full. For most of them, this is one of the factors that causes them to seek advice from a bankruptcy attorney. Unfortunately, there is a prevalent myth among many folks that as long as you make some type of payment on a medical bill, the provider can not sue you. This is not the case.
For advice about how bankruptcy can help, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 1-888-651-9353 or visit our website by clicking here .