The ACA Contributing To the Rise of Bankruptcy Due to Medical Expenses

By Robert Jacovetti

CNBC reported that an estimated 646,812 people in the U.S declared bankruptcy in 2013 due to medical expenses. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2010, the number of uninsured Americans decreased by 15 million. However, the number of Americans that claim bankruptcy due to medical expenses has remained stagnant.

According to Upshot, insurance often fails as a safety net because it requires thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses, which many Americans cannot afford. The ACA allowed for higher deductibles because it required more comprehensive insurance plans.

According to the New York Times, in 2016, 20 percent of people under the age of 65 had trouble paying their medical bills. Among this group, 63 percent reported that they depleted their savings to pay for their medical bills, while the remainder reported taking on another job, moving in with a roommate or receiving help from charities.

According to National Public Radio, Barbara Radley suffered from diabetes, liver failure, and scleroderma, a rare, chronic connective tissue disease. Two years ago, Ms. Radley’s health insurance premium, deductibles and copays increased tremendously. She was paying $700 a month for her insurance premium along with $5,000 for her deductible. Between Ms. Radley and her husband they only made about $30,000 a year. In 2016, she was able to file for bankruptcy. However, since then, she has accumulated $10,000 in unpaid medical debt due to her ongoing medical conditions.

According to the American Journal of Medicine, when the ACA went into effect, an individual purchased the health insurance that was affordable, but not necessarily the health insurance that he or she needed. Furthermore, if the ACA is repealed, medical bankruptcy will continue to rise due to increased health costs and high premiums.

If you are struggling to pay medical expenses and thinking about filing for bankruptcy, the skilled attorneys at Robert Jacovetti P.C. can assist you in settling your debts to help you move forward with your life. Contact Robert Jacovetti, an experienced New York debt management lawyer, to explore all of your available options.