People wrongfully assume that financial irresponsibility is the primary reason for bankruptcy filings. The majority of people who file do so not because they mishandled their money, but because they experienced an illness or injury that lead thousands of dollars in medical bills.
According to Oklahoma’s News 4, Ada First United Methodist Church purchased and forgave the medical debt of local residents. With the help of donations, the church bought $3.8 million of medical debt from 1,327 people.
Medical debt is everyone’s problem
Health issues can happen to anyone at any time. While people who are older and those with chronic conditions usually require more medical care, accidents and injuries can impact young, healthy people. The onset of disease is also not relegated to a single group.
Additionally, a previously healthy person who leads a healthy lifestyle can also fall ill. There is no safeguard against illness or injury, which means virtually any person can experience massive medical debt at some point in their lives.
Debt forgiveness is just one solution
While what the Ada First United Methodist Church did is extremely admirable, it is not a realistic solution for all people faced with medical debt. Filing for bankruptcy also relieves medical debt, since it is dischargeable. Not only does this allow you to start over with a clean financial slate, it also relieves stress and anxiety regarding debt after receiving medical treatment.
No one should have to choose between their health and their financial stability. Even people with health insurance can go into debt when diagnosed with a major illness.