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Will health insurance prevent medical bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Consumer bankruptcy |

Medical debt is one of the top reasons that people file for bankruptcy. Even relatively minor issues can be prohibitively expensive to treat. A serious condition, like suffering from a heart attack or being diagnosed with cancer, could lead to overwhelming debt.

However, many people have health insurance and so they don’t worry about this debt. They know that they may need to meet their deductible, so they could be facing a few thousand dollars worth of debt. They just assume that the health insurance will prevent them from the overwhelming costs that may require them to file for bankruptcy.

Health insurance doesn’t cover everything

Bankruptcy is still certainly possible, even for those who do have health insurance. For one thing, not all health insurance plans are the same. Someone who has very minimal coverage could have a high deductible and they may need to at least partially pay for numerous services. This can become very expensive, especially if the medical treatment they need goes over a year and they have to meet their deductible again.

Additionally, even an insurance policy won’t pay for everything. The insurance company may say that something is an optional or elective treatment when the patient feels that it is an absolute necessity, but then the insurance company will refuse to pay. Or the insurance provider may claim that some of the services were out of network, even if the patient checked beforehand to make sure that they were in network. Even if someone has a policy, it may not provide anything for out-of-network services, leaving that debt with the patient.

In other words, bankruptcy is still very possible due to medical complications. Those who find themselves facing this type of debt must know what steps to take.