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Prescriptions Responsible For Pushing Some Families Into Bankruptcy

Charlotte Bankruptcy attorney Bryan W. Stone answers the question: “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”

 

A recent article on CNBC discussed the issue of increasingly pricey prescription drug bills and how the escalating costs associated with treating illness can drive families into bankruptcy.

 

Prescription bottle Charlotte Bankruptcy Attorney North Carolina Chapter 11 LawyerThe report noted that in 2013, Americans forked over more than $41 billion in unreimbursed prescription drug costs. This number has continued a steady march upwards and is reaching levels that are impacting the financial health of some homes. The reality is that many insurance plans today carry not only steep monthly premiums, but large annual deductibles that must first be hit before coverage kicks in, putting those families with low incomes in trouble.

 

One bankruptcy attorney interviewed in the article noted that half of his clients have medical-related debts. In other cases, experts say that a person’s debt may appear to have nothing to do with medical expenses, for instance, it may be exclusively on credit cards. However, this usually is because the family chose to use their cards to pay for living expenses after their income went towards prescription drug bills.

 

Sadly, the implementation of the new Affordable Care Act appears to have done little to solve the problem. Those with chronic health conditions must still pay large monthly premiums and contend with potentially thousands of dollars in annual deductibles. Additionally, a lack of knowledge surrounding the confusing insurance plans and their offerings make it even more difficult for consumers to understand how best to minimize medication costs.

 

The rise in the number of Americans being treated for chronic conditions have also contributed to the rise in medical debts, with larger shares of the population taking drugs for long-term treatment. Issues like diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension require potentially decades of daily medication and can add up substantially in the long-term.

 

A report issued just last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that a whopping 52 percent of all accounts sent to collection are related to medical debts. Out of this group, large amounts are directly related to prescription costs, much of which remain unreimbursed.

 

Sadly, the debt not only leads to unfortunate financial consequences, like bankruptcy, but also can create a dangerous cycle of worsening physical condition. A survey found that 27 percent of adults, or more than 50 million people, say that they had gone without medication in the past 12 months due to the cost of the drugs. Medication-skipping can compound problems, leading to sicker patients and more expensive drugs.

 

If you find yourself needing the services of a Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC  today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced in the bankruptcy arena, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.

 

 

About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.
Source:

“Medication costs fuel painful medical debt, bankruptcies,” by Dan Mangan, published at CNBC.com.

 

 

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