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Out-of-pocket medical expenses can lead to bankruptcy

Medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in this country. Some people might think that this problem only affects the underinsured or uninsured. This isn't at all the case. When you are reviewing your medical insurance policy, there is one major component you should check — the catastrophic coverage out-of-pocket expenses that you have to pay before your plan picks up the charges.

This coverage goes into effect if you have a medical emergency. The better the catastrophic coverage, the less you will pay out-of-pocket if you need medical care for a situation that falls under this part of the policy. For some individuals, the out-of-pocket expenses are so high that they won't be able to afford to make the payments even though they have good insurance.

Even federal employees have to be cautious about what policy they choose when they are going over their options. One plan charges a whopping $9,330 for out-of-pocket expenses annually for a single person. For a family plan, one plan has out-of-pocket costs of $20,490 for the year. As you can imagine, having to pay this would be difficult for many workers.

One thing to remember is that you have to find a balance between affordable monthly payments and protecting yourself from financial ruin if you ever need extensive medical care. If you have already needed this type of care and found out that you don't have an insurance plan that protects you, the options you have are limited. Ultimately, you might decide that you need to file bankruptcy to reclaim your financial health.

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