Posts Tagged: ‘Affordable Care Act’

Changes to Healthcare could lead to More Bankruptcies

August 1, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, personal bankruptcy filings dropped about 50 percent, from 1,536,799 in 2010 to 770,846 in 2016.  Studies have shown medical debt as the leading cause of personal bankruptcy filings.  As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, there is concern about what that will do to coverage and premiums.

A study conducted by the American Medical Association in 2007 found that 67% of those who filed for bankruptcy cited medical debt as a major factor.  For middle class homeowners, the issue of medical coverage was even more influential, with half of all foreclosures caused in part by medical debt. The uncertainty about the fate of healthcare coverage for many Americans may cause the number of bankruptcies and foreclosures to increase in the coming years.

The current healthcare bill that is being debated may result in 22 million to 32 million Americans losing a portion of their current healthcare benefits.

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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.consumerreports.org/personal-bankruptcy/how-the-aca-drove-down-personal-bankruptcy/

How the Affordable Healthcare Act Had an Impact on Personal Bankruptcy Filings

May 4, 2017 Posted by kingcade

As legislators and the President focus their efforts on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, they may want to keep in mind the financial consequences.  Since its inception, far fewer Americans have filed for personal bankruptcy.  Personal bankruptcy filings are down 50 percent since 2010.  Coincidentally, those same seven years represent the time frame when the 2010 federal law designed to provide health insurance coverage for the majority of Americans took effect.

Personal bankruptcy filings have dropped from 1,536,799 in 2010 to 770,846 in 2016.  Medical bills remain the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.  Unlike other debts, medical bills are often unexpected, involuntary, and can be for very large amounts.

Two other contributing factors add to the decline: an improved economy and changes to bankruptcy laws in 2005 that made it more difficult and costly to file. However, expanded health coverage played a significant role in the recent decline of personal bankruptcy filings.

Some of the most important financial protections of the Affordable Care Act apply to all consumers, whether they get their coverage through Obamacare or the private insurance marketplace. These provisions include mandated coverage for any pre-existing conditions, an end to annual and lifetime coverage caps.  It also allows young people to be covered by a family policy until age 26.

The first attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was in March, failed to gain enough Congressional support and never came to a vote. Then in April, details of a new replacement plan were released. Although President Trump has said that the new version will cover pre-existing conditions, the revised law gives states discretion to allow insurance companies to increase rates for consumers with an existing illness.

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Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Study Shows Floridians Struggled with Medical Bills in 2016

March 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a survey published last week by the Commonwealth Fund, residents of Florida and Texas reported having more difficulty paying their medical bills in 2016 than residents of California or New York.

All four states have seen an increase in the number of residents with health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was launched in 2014. The difference is, unlike in California and New York, legislators in Florida and Texas refused to expand Medicaid to most of the low-income adults, resulting in higher uninsured rates. Florida’s uninsured resident rate was 16 percent last year.

The survey reported that 41 percent of Floridians reported they had trouble paying their medical bills, they were contacted by a collection agency about unpaid medical bills or they were carrying medical debt last year. Approximately 44 percent of Texans reported they had trouble paying medical bills last year. Only approximately 28 percent of Californians and New Yorkers reported similar challenges with medical debt.

However, state decisions on Medicaid were not the only contributing factors. The rate of illegal immigrants living in each state were also reportedly factors in the survey results due to the fact that undocumented immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid or ACA coverage.

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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

The Medical Debt Crisis: Americans still struggling to pay off Massive Healthcare bills

August 19, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Recent data shows that Americans are forgoing medical care and using extreme measures in an effort to pay off their medical debt. Although, the Affordable Care Act is helping reduce the burden of medical debt for some American consumers- for states that have not expanded Medicaid, millions of Americans still lack insurance and many of the affordable plans offer minimal coverage. The result is that in 2014, 64 million people were struggling with medical debt, the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.

Two surveys (in 2008 and 2012) explored the finances of lower to middle-income households carrying credit card debt. It was found that households carrying medical debt on their credit cards were more likely to take extreme measures to pay off their debts and forgo necessary medical treatment. Even for the insured, medical debt can negatively impact household finances.

In the 2008 and 2012 surveys, the average total credit card debt fell from $11,019 in 2008 to $8,762 in 2012, a 20 percent decline. Medical debt alone fell from $2,055 in 2008 to $1,679 in 2012, an 18 percent decline. A possible reason for the decline could be the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act). Studies show that the CARD Act dramatically reduced fees for credit card users. Research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests the CARD act reduced hidden fees, saving consumers billions of dollars. It is also possible the Affordable Care Act played a role along with the improving economy.

Costly medical procedures can quickly lead to a household’s debt spiraling out of control. A key contributor is the out-of-pocket costs, not covered by insurance. The survey revealed dental expenses were the most frequently cited as a contributor to credit card debt; of those respondents who report they experienced a dental expense, a large share said that the expense contributed to their credit card debt. Many basic insurance plans do not include dental.  Emergency room visits and purchasing prescription medication contributed to nearly half of the reported credit card debt.

There are some legislative options in the works. The Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, proposed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would help families dealing with medical debt keep their homes by providing them with bankruptcy protection, and would forgive student debt. It also waives the requirement that individuals who file for debt relief receive credit counseling, if the debt is medical-related. The Medical Debt Responsibility Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), would require that fully paid medical debt be removed from credit reports within 45 days.

Click here to read more on this story.

Those who have experienced illness or injury and found themselves overwhelmed with medical debt should contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney. In bankruptcy, medical bills are considered general unsecured debts just like credit cards. This means that medical bills do not receive priority treatment and can easily be discharged in bankruptcy. Bankruptcy laws were created to help people resolve overwhelming debt and gain a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy attorney Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.