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Number of bankruptcies down but medical costs still leading cause

| May 4, 2017 | Medical Debt |

Access to affordable medical care is vitally important to those living in North Carolina. Health care has been a hotly debated topic in the last several years. The Affordable Care Act led to a number of changes for people across the country. As MarketWatch points out, the ACA resulted in higher deductibles and increased premiums for many people, which translates to more money out of consumers’ pockets.

However, the ACA also led to a big increase in the number of people who are insured and it provided certain protections, such as for people with pre-existing conditions. It also led to decreased premiums for vulnerable populations, such as older people and low-income families. As a result, since the ACA was enacted, the number of people filing for personal bankruptcy in the U.S. has decreased. In 2010, 1.54 million people filed for bankruptcy. In 2016, that number dropped by approximately half to 770,846.

Since people do not have to cite a reason when they file for bankruptcy, it is not known exactly how big a part the ACA played in reducing the overall number of bankruptcies. However, the fact still remains that medical debt is one of the leading causes of people filing for bankruptcy.

According to AOL, 40 percent of people had debt that stemmed from receiving medical care in 2014. When you combine that with the fact that the ability to pay their medical bills alludes over 25 percent of Americans, and it is no wonder that bankruptcies are caused by medical debt more than any other cause.