Paul J. Minnillo, an attorney at our firm Minnillo & Jenkins, recently spoke to a reporter at the Dayton Daily News about the ways in which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may or may not help Americans avoid significant financial hardships.
It is now a well-known fact that the number one reason Americans currently choose to file for personal bankruptcy is insurmountable medical bills arising from unexpected and severe illnesses and injuries. The ACA, commonly referred to as "Obamacare," was passed in part to help Americans avoid this kind of financial fallout.
The Dayton Daily News notes that more than one out of every four Ohio families has struggled significantly with unpaid medical bills. Many have speculated that the ACA will help Americans avoid this fate by allowing more of them access to medical insurance. However, Mr. Minnillo argues persuasively that insurance coverage alone will not necessarily protect Americans from financial hardships stemming from medical bills for one simple reason.
He notes that, "If you have a plan with a high deductible, and you have to come up with that upfront payment before your insurance kicks in, then you may have to sacrifice some other payment like a credit card or a vehicle payment. That can cause a spiral of debt problems, forcing the hand of people who have that debt to seek relief under bankruptcy."
If you are facing the kind of situation that Mr. Minnillo talks about in the recent Dayton Daily News piece, please understand that you are not alone and that the law provides you with options. Please reach out to an experienced bankruptcy attorney with any questions you might have about overwhelming medical debt.
Source: Dayton Daily News, "ACA seen curbing medical bankruptcy," Randy Tucker, Feb. 2, 2014