Medical care costs can be debilitating. Americans are sinking further and further into debt because of health care, and there doesn’t seem to be much reprieve on the horizon. Fortunately, there may be a way you can get some much-needed relief.
Six out of 10 people aged 65 and older have filed bankruptcy because of medical debt. Filing for protection may be the best option for clearing out many of your balances because things don’t look like they’ll be getting easier as time goes on.
The number of older Americans declaring bankruptcy has exploded in recent years. While those aged 55 to 64 saw a 66% increase over a 15-year period, ages 65 to 74 saw a 204% vault. That older bracket once made up a minor percentage of filers, just 2% in 1991. Now the 65-and-over crowd makes up about 12% of those requesting protection through bankruptcy.
The big reason you’re likely facing bankruptcy is the growing cost of insurance. Medical costs have actually decreased over the last 30 years, but the price of insurance has grown 740% since 1984, even after accounting for inflation. That means households are now paying almost twice per person what they once were. And those rising costs haven’t come with rising income, as the growing price tag for insurance has consistently out-paced wages.
You’re not alone in facing crippling medical debt in this country, and you won’t be alone in considering bankruptcy. More and more are choosing it as an option to cure financial woes, and it might be the right answer for you.