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Could COVID19 Lead to A Change in Bankruptcy Law?

In the middle of an election year where healthcare is already a hotly debated issue, the COVID-19 pandemic has stirred further discussion about whether major changes are necessary. During the Democratic presidential primary, the concept of Medicare for All split the candidates. While the candidate who promoted that concept has since dropped out of the race, the significant financial pressure on consumers and healthcare providers highlighted by the pandemic might strengthen the position of those who seek a fundamental overhaul to America’s healthcare system.

One study says that medical costs are a factor in about two-thirds of the bankruptcies filed within the United States. Serious divisions still exist regarding ways to limit financial hardship, but the coronavirus crisis has highlighted several concerns that have prompted calls for change:

  • High costs of inpatient care Estimates put the average cost that an uninsured person would have to pay for inpatient coronavirus care between $40,000 and $75,000. Even in circumstances where a patient has health insurance, high deductibles or uncovered costs could push them toward bankruptcy, especially in a situation when other economic pressures exist.
  • Importance of preventative measures Many people and organizations have criticized the U.S. healthcare system for being too reactive rather than offering concrete ways to prevent long-term health issues. The explosion of coronavirus and the fact that it seems much more harmful to individuals with largely treatable conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure might prompt insurance companies and governments to work even harder to support preventative care to lessen the likelihood of significant afflictions, and costs, later on.
  • Struggling healthcare providers The last thing on most people’s minds when they hear about debt problems within the healthcare industry is the fate of the hospitals that charge them so much. However, the cancellation of most non-coronavirus procedures during the pandemic demonstrates how slim a margin exists for healthcare facilities, particularly in rural areas.

It’s not uncommon for people to say that “nothing will ever be the same” as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the healthcare sector that might very well be true. Perhaps the intense focus on industry problems will foster change that makes medical bankruptcy a thing of the past. Until then, however, medical expenses, whether coronavirus-related or not, could put tremendous financial strain on you and your family. If you are struggling with medical debt or serious financial difficulties related to the economic crisis, finding the right bankruptcy lawyer could help you overcome your difficulties.

Contact a bankruptcy lawyer to discuss your debt or collection issue

Law Office of Weiss, Schmidgall and Hires, P.C., represents clients in bankruptcy actions and related matters. Please call 219-293-8988 or contact the firm online to schedule a consultation.

 

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Christopher R. Schmidgall
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For more than ten years, Christopher Schmidgall has protected the lives of people who find themselves caught in the tangled machinery of criminal prosecution. With the skill and determination he’s demonstrated throughout his life, Chris offers them the help they need to get their lives back in order. Not long after graduating from Valparaiso...

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Amanda C. Hires
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Following a remarkably accomplished academic career, Amanda Hires applied her record of success to servicing good people facing difficult situations. She served as a volunteer at the New Orleans Public Defender’s Office and worked intensively with prosecutors and defense attorneys while under the guidance of Judge Sheila Moss at the Lake County Superior Court...

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Jessica McPheeters
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Jessica McPheeters is an associate attorney with her primary focus being in Estate Planning, Probate, Business Formation and Planning, and other general practice matters. Jessica received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics from Ball State University in 2014. Jessica then received her Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law...

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