Studies show that an alarming number of families in Louisiana and around the country are struggling to cope with unmanageable health care bills. Soaring medical debts are a leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States. One in five Americans with health care coverage has trouble meeting their doctor and hospital expenses, and members of Generation X have the highest medical debt of all, according to the financial information and services company Comet.
The average baby boomer owes $2,408 in health care bills and millennials have racked up $11,622 on average in medical debt, but Generation X members owe nearly $20,000 on average. Adults in this age group are often trying to find the money to send their children to college while paying mortgages and putting something aside for retirement, but the data shows that they are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up financially. Surging levels of revolving debt are often early signs of monetary distress, and the financial information company ValuePenguin found evidence of this distress when they discovered that Generation X members owe an average of more than $9,000 to credit card companies.
Suggestions for dealing with unsustainable amounts of medical debt rarely address the underlying cause of the problem. Financial experts encourage individuals to save diligently, obtain better medical insurance and adopt more healthy lifestyles, but this advice can be difficult to follow when the money coming in is not enough to cover the monthly bills.
Generation X members often put off pursuing debt relief because they are worried about losing their homes or other assets, but attorneys with experience in this area could explain how filing for bankruptcy may actually help in this situation. And, for those who do not qualify for a standard Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Chapter 13 allows individuals to keep their property while paying down their debts over three or five years. The court must first approve the terms of a proposed repayment plan.