Unlike other financial issues such as credit card debt, medical debt is not caused by unwise monetary choices, but rather it is often caused by unforeseen circumstances. The issue is cyclical: You are in debt because of unforeseen medical circumstances and the financial stress that comes with these additional medical expenses causes you to get sicker and deeper into medical debt.
As we move through life, our parents who cared for and protected us in our youth often become the ones in need of care and protection. Illness, disease and natural aging erodes memory, faculties and routine decision-making skills. This is undoubtedly a confusing and frightening experience for the parent who now struggles with day to day activities. It is equally taxing on the children who must balance the emotions and responsibilities they feel while witnessing their once revered and trusted parent deteriorate. At some point, it may become necessary for the child to make decisions in the best interest of the elderly parent regarding their finances or medical treatments. New Jersey law recognizes two simple documents through which the elderly parent can voluntarily cede decision making power to a trusted individual in the event of incapacity. These documents are called powers of attorney and advance directives for health care. The contents of this article will analyze and explain the process and benefits to having a power of attorney and advance health care directive.
As a previous post on this blog pointed out, medical expenses can lead to serious financial challenges. Some people who face a mountain of medical debt may consider filing for bankruptcy in order to regain financial control. The fear of medical debt and financial problems should not deter people in New Jersey from getting the medical care they need.
As previously discussed in this blog, medical debt can cause huge burdens on individuals in New Jersey and elsewhere. When medical expenses add up and individuals or families are unable to timely pay their medical bills, they could encounter serious financial problems. Unlike other financial issues such as credit card debt, medical debt is not caused by unwise monetary choices but rather it often occurs because of unforeseen circumstances.
Are you saddled with medical debt and feeling that there is no way out? If you are, then bankruptcy is an option that you might want to consider.
People throughout New Jersey have probably seen reports that medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. In fact, the Federal Reserve reported that last year two out of every five Americans have received a lower credit score because of unpaid medical bills, and nearly one out of every six credit reports lists a medical collection debt.
When an individual becomes suddenly and seriously ill or injured, chances are that medical insurance will not cover the full cost of diagnosis and treatment. In fact, even Americans with excellent medical coverage often struggle mightily with medical bills in the wake of an unexpected severe injury or illness. As a result, a staggering number of Americans cannot pay their medical bills in full, on time.
Both the media specifically and the American public generally have recently become increasingly insistent that Congress act to address the issue of overwhelming medical debt. It is now a well-known fact that the majority of personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. today result primarily from overly burdensome medical bills. Certain members of Congress have vowed to address this issue comprehensively. As a response to this commitment, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is trying to stay ahead of the curve.
A recurring issue our New Jersey injury lawyers have noticed involves valuing Medicare and Medicaid (collectively referred to as Medicare) liens. Failure to identify and satisfy these liens in your personal injury lawsuit could wipe out or greatly reduce the money that you recover.