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Three Quarters of People Bankrupted by Medical Problems Had Health Insurance

July 6, 2009

A medical crisis can lead to financial ruin even for people who have health insurance, the New York Times reported June 30. The article highlights an important part of a study released in mid-June, which found that medical bills are responsible for the majority of bankruptcies -- and the majority of those medical bankruptcy filers had insurance. Against the backdrop of President Obama's attempt to reform the way the United States handles health care, the Times looked at one such bankruptcy filer.

Lawrence Yurdin of Austin, Texas, bought a limited-benefits health insurance policy through his employer. He also had an irregular heartbeat, a sign of potentially serious cardiac complications. When he had two heart procedures in 2008, the hospital estimated that his share of the cost would be a few thousand dollars. But when he put in the claim, he discovered that his $150,000 hospital benefit was mostly for room and board -- the health care that brought him to the hospital in the first place was not covered. In fact, according to the Times, Yurdin's insurance would have paid for months of bed and board, but not a lab test or surgery. On the advice of a bankruptcy lawyer, Yurdin and his wife have filed for bankruptcy protection.

As Azusa bankruptcy lawyers, we hear far too many stories like these. When the language of a health insurance policy fools even the hospital billing department, it's clear that the policy is not as clear and honest as it should be. The result is that thousands of Americans are driven into consumer bankruptcy filings each year -- and that number is growing. Although many people feel ashamed or reluctant to consider a bankruptcy, nobody chooses to get sick. When it happens anyway, and they don't have the comprehensive medical insurance they need to cover the cost, they should never be ashamed to protect themselves by speaking with a Los Angeles County bankruptcy attorney.

Howard Law LLP helps ordinary people who are considering bankruptcy as a way to deal with overwhelming debts, medical and otherwise. Our Yorba Linda bankruptcy attorneys can take a detailed look at your financial situation and expected future expenses to tell you if a bankruptcy is the smartest option for you, and if so, what kind is best. As soon as we can file your bankruptcy in court, we can stop harassment by creditors and debt collectors, and foreclosures and repossessions. If appropriate in your case, we can also consider settling your debts without bankruptcy, through our debt settlement services and mortgage loan modification practice. The sooner we take your case, the sooner we can stop the cycle of debt and get you back on the path to security.

If you feel like you're drowning in debt related to an illness in your family and you'd like to discuss your options for getting out, you should call Howard Law as soon as possible. You can contact us through our Web site or call us toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.