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Why are millenials struggling with medical debt?

On Behalf of | Feb 13, 2020 | Medical Debt

Since younger Oregon residents are likely to be healthier than their older counterparts, they are often less likely to get health insurance. Add this to the fact that they are less likely to have worked long enough to generate enough savings to cover big medical debts, and it is not a big surprise that Millenials are struggling with medical debt. According to the Urban Institute, about 21.1% of people between the age of 18 and 24 and 27.8% of those between 25 and 34 had medical bills that were past due in 2015.

Millenials are already burdened by student debt and are usually struggling to save enough to buy their own house. A medical emergency can set them back significantly, as they struggle to make ends meet while also making payments to reduce their debts.

What many do not know is that they have options when it comes to dealing with medical debt. While the Affordable Care Act is still in place, people under the age of 26 can still remain on their parent’s health insurance plan, even if they don’t live with them any longer. However, this isn’t an option for everyone, and knowing what other options are out there is important. One of them is declaring bankruptcy.

While it may be tempting to let bills pile up and hide one’s heads under the covers, the reality is that bills are not going to go anywhere. In fact, interest payments will only make the situation worse. If the medical debt is really owed, one way to handle the situation might be to declare Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, depending on one’s circumstances.

One of the benefits of being young when declaring it is that it is easier to get control over one’s finances and bounce back enough to save enough for the future. An experienced lawyer can go over one’s situation and discuss options with those struggling with debt.


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The Law Office of Kim Covington is a debt relief agency, and I have helped families, individuals and small businesses, file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for over 22 years.