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What type of debt is the biggest reason for bankruptcy?

Statistics released by NerdWallet Health show that medical bills are the biggest reason for U.S. residents to file for bankruptcy. In fact, analysts project that bankruptcies stemming from overdue medical bills will result in 2 million bankruptcies this year. This means that medical debt-related bankruptcies outpace those caused by unpaid mortgages and credit card debt.

NerdWallet Health looked at information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census, the Commonwealth Fund, the federal court system and the Commonwealth Fund (which promotes access and quality related to our nation's health care system). According to the vice president of NerdWallet Health, they discovered that "a lot of Americans are struggling with medical bills."

NerdWallet estimates that 2015 will see approximately 20 percent of the U.S. adult population between 19 and 64 years of age struggling with medical bills. Furthermore, it does not appear that Americans with health insurance are immune from these struggles. Approximately 10 million American adults who are protected by health insurance will still accrue medical debt they cannot pay down this year.

Part of the problem for those with health insurance relates to high deductibles that make it necessary for adults to pay big when it comes to out-of-pocket health care costs. Most American families are only earning about $50,000, and a high deductible insurance policy could end up financially crippling such a family -- especially if one's out-of-pocket medical costs represent a significant chunk of that income.

Fortunately, there are legal options available to Ohio residents who are struggling to pay their medical bills. In some cases, bankruptcy may be an appropriate solution. In other cases, a debt consolidation or other repayment program may serve a financially struggling family's needs.

Source: CNBC, "Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies: Study," Dan Mangan, accessed Nov. 20, 2015

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