St. Clair Shores
Throughout Macomb, many residents have obtained health insurance coverage that they did not have before. The Healthy Michigan Program expanded Medicaid eligibility based on provisions found in the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). These expanded eligibility rules doubled the number of people covered by Medicaid.
The Medicaid expansion launched on April 1, and it opened up eligibility for Medicaid to individuals and families with income up to 133 percent of the poverty level. Within one month of Healthy Michigan’s launch, there were around 15,000 new enrollments in Medicaid, according to Macomb Daily. As of December 1, around 36,000 people had enrolled. The Healthy Michigan Plan has made it possible for patients to receive more than 241,000 primary care visits, 74,000 preventative care visits, 10,900 colonoscopies and 22,900 mammograms.
Medical Bankruptcies Remain a Serious Problem
The Medicaid-expanded eligibility rules are great news for Macomb residents who can now get medical care that might not have been accessible in the past. Unfortunately, for many people, the relief came too late as they have already incurred huge medical bills from before this low-cost insurance coverage was available.
As CNBC reports, medical bills are the primary reason for bankruptcies in the United States. Almost two million people over the course of the year are forced to file bankruptcy because of medical bills that are too high. Even those who don’t file bankruptcy may face financial struggles due to medical expenditures. More than 20 percent of the entire U.S. population age 19 to 64 will have trouble with covering healthcare expenses over the year.
While Medicaid can help keep many St. Clair Shores families from falling into debt due to bills, those who do not qualify for Medicaid may still be driven into bankruptcy by medical debt. In some cases, this is true even if they have insurance. CNBC indicates that around 10 million adults nationwide who have year-round health coverage will accumulate medical bills they can’t pay off because of high deductibles and other expenses that are not covered.
How a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Lawyer Can Help
Medical debt is generally considered a form of personal unsecured debt. This means that the unpaid debt balances you owe to doctors, hospitals and other care providers can be discharged through the filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 allows eligible unsecured debts to be discharged, which generally includes all medical related debts. You will no longer have to pay back any of these medical bills and you can start over with a clean financial slate. A St. Clair Shores bankruptcy lawyer can help you to get the process started and represent you throughout your bankruptcy proceedings as you take steps to eliminate the medical bills you cannot pay. Contact the law office of Jeffrey J. Randa today.