February 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Women Struggling With Medical Debt in Oregon and Across the US
According to a report issued by the Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit group advocating for health care reform, women in the U.S. have more problems paying their medical bills than in other industrialized nations around the world. Women struggle with medical debt more often than men for a number of reasons, and some women may not be aware that filing bankruptcy may be one way to deal with overwhelming medical bills.
Women in the U.S. Have More Medical Debt
The Commonwealth Fund compared the number of women who had trouble paying their medical bills in the U.S. with those in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Researchers found that 26 percent of women in the U.S. had medical bills they could not pay. In comparison, 13 percent of women in Australia have medical debts they cannot pay and four percent of German women have outstanding medical debt.
Researchers also examined three surveys that polled thousands of women in the U.S. and discovered that women in this country are more often uninsured and have higher medical bills than women in the other countries the researchers studied. The Commonwealth Fund reported that 18.7 million women aged 19 to 64 years were uninsured in the U.S. in 2010, an increase of almost 5 percent from the 12.8 million uninsured women in 2000.
Women struggle with medical bills for a variety of reasons. Experts note that women frequently have lower incomes than men and use health care services more often than men do. Health insurers also charge women more than men for the same coverage -- particularly women of childbearing age.
Bankruptcy Can Help
Many Americans turn to bankruptcy for relief from medical debt. According to a study conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University, medical bills were a factor in a full 60 percent of the personal bankruptcy filings in 2009.
Filing bankruptcy may be a solution for those with crushing medical debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy and Chapter 13 bankruptcy categorize medical bills as unsecured debt, meaning that there is no specific piece of property tied to the debt that the creditor has a right to recover if the debt is unpaid. People can discharge medical debt in bankruptcy, similar to the way they discharge other unsecured debts such as credit card debts, unsecured loans and unpaid rent or utilities.
Talk to an Attorney
Bankruptcy is not the right step for everyone, but it can be one option for those who feel overpowered by their bills. If you are struggling financially, speak with a seasoned bankruptcy attorney who can offer you guidance regarding your situation.
Article provided by The Law Offices of Alexzander C. J. Adams, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.portlandbk.com---
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