A visit to the doctor’s office can be expensive. And yet, it is impossible for individuals to predict when they or a loved one will need medical care or suffer a medical emergency. Therefore, it is not easy for New Mexicans to plan for how they will pay for medical issues.
This never-ending cycle is one of the main reasons that medical bills cause families so much financial trouble.
Medical costs are still the number one cause of debt
According to CNBC News, a new study found that an average of 66.5% of all bankruptcies were related to expensive medical bills that left families in debt. The study determined that number meant that nearly 530,000 families filed bankruptcy because of medical debts.
The article attempts to find a reason why so many bankruptcies resulted from medical debts, namely the lack of health insurance. And that would not be surprising, considering the costs of receiving medical care.
How much does medical care cost?
The cost of a doctor visit or a medical procedure varies significantly, depending on someone’s condition, where they receive medical care and their insurance coverage. And since every medical condition is different, there is no real way to determine the cost.
However, we can look at an average example. If someone suffers a sudden and serious injury, such as a broken leg, they could face several costs without insurance, including:
- Between $100 and $3,000 for a visit to the emergency room
- Possibly upwards of $2,000 for an MRI scan
- Surgery to repair the leg that, without insurance, can cost between $17,000 and $35,000
- Crutches can cost between $15 and $100, depending on the style
- Physical therapy sessions often cost up to $50 an hour while recovering
Altogether, a broken leg could potentially cost an individual more than $20,000. That is more than most people in the U.S. have in their savings accounts. Insurance can cover most of these costs. But if the availability of insurance is the issue, then it is understandable that medical bills can leave people facing significant debt.
Bankruptcy can help relieve medical debt
An illness or medical emergency requires individuals to seek medical care. And struggling with debt while recovering can make the situation even more stressful. Regardless of whether individuals file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, they have options to find relief from the medical debt weighing on them.