Nobody can imagine what it feels like to hear the doctor utter those horrible words. “You have cancer.” A flood of thoughts go through your mind about what that means. The first and foremost concern is surviving. At this point, no specialist and no therapy is too expensive or out of the question. The doctor then explains the recommended treatment that the doctor explains. It will be a long, long road that you not only are willing to make, but that you really have no choice to make, either.
The reality of the situation often does not contemplate the economic costs because those are simply not important. However, as survival becomes certain so does the reality of the economic impact. A group called the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer authored a study recently published that showed several intersecting results. A person with cancer is more than 2.5 times more likely to file bankruptcy. 4,408 people diagnosed with cancer filed bankruptcy.
The reasons are both obvious and not so obvious. The obvious reason is that there are so many costs that are not covered by insurance. Even if everything was covered, the co-pays can be in the thousands of dollars. The non-obvious reasons include the inability to work during the treatment and the loss of a productive member of the household.
When a person is ill, they cannot do the “normal” functions whether it is housework, yard work, car maintenance, or taking the kids to school. The other spouse has to pick up those activities, but they are often reduced to being full time care giver and chauffer in addition to trying to keep the family supplied with income. Things around the house that used to be done on a shared basis no longer can be accomplished. Often, the family has to hire help to either be a nurse, yard worker, mechanic, etc. These things all take huge sums of money.
When the treatment is over, the reality of debt soaks in. It is not at all uncommon for a cancer survivor to emerge with over $100,000 in medical debt. That is a non-survivable amount of debt without help. Fortunately, our country just has provided a safety valve that takes care of such horrible situations. We have the ability to file bankruptcy to shed ourselves of that debt which we did not have any control of.
If you are faced with too much old debt, bankruptcy can be used to help you also become more lean and efficient. It can help you begin setting money aside for the children’s education and future. If you are in this situation, book an appointment with a skilled bankruptcy attorney. At Bailey & Galyen we would like to help you achieve your new future.