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Medical bills wreak havoc on Americans’ wallets

According to Today Money, approximately 1.7 million Americans are expected to be pushed into bankruptcy in 2013. Why? Medical bills.

Specifically, medical expenses are the number one cause of bankruptcy filings in the country. Medical debt even surpasses bankruptcy related to unpaid mortgages or credit-card bills, Today Money notes.

NerdWallet Health assessed numbers and reports collected from the U.S. Census, Center for Disease Control, court documents and the Commonwealth fund (which is an organization that advocates access to quality and efficiency in the medical care system). The investigation revealed that approximately 25 million Americans fail to take their needed medications in an effort to control medical expenses.

The study also found that approximately 56 million adults, specifically one-fifth of the population between ages 19 and 64, will have trouble with medical payments. This is true even if they do not reach the level of bankruptcy.

In addition, many Americans once thought that they were protected from medical-related financial issues because they had health insurance; however, most plans do not protect consumers against serious financial troubles. In fact, not all health coverage plans will help. NerdWallet suggests that approximately 10 million adults with year-round coverage will still have outstanding medical bills by the end of the year. This is because insurance plans with high deductibles require more out-of-pocket payments for consumers. This becomes a challenge for many.

It does not help that the average American family has a total income of approximately $50,000, according to Today Money. As a result, a hefty bill and a large deductible can quickly become insurmountable.

Ultimately, the number of households that are predicted to file for bankruptcy as a result of medical expenses in this year is just below the actual number reported for the height of the recession.

A person that needs medical treatment and care has no choice. Neglecting serious health issues can result in dire consequences. While America's current medical system is not very financially accommodating, there are options. For example, bankruptcy can be a viable option for some consumers. Credit card debt, medical bills and other personal debt may be relieved through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy process. This can help individuals move on with their lives.

If you would learn more about the various debt-reducing options for your particular situation, it may help to speak with qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area. You may not be able to control the costs of medical treatment, but you can start organizing your financial future right away with the help of a professional.

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