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A common misconception exists in this country that individuals who file for bankruptcy do so as a result of living beyond their means. However, national statistics prove otherwise. Of the more than 1.5 million people who file for bankruptcy each year in the United States, more than 60 percent of them list overwhelming medical bills as the primary reason. As many bankruptcy attorneys can attest, if you are considering bankruptcy because you can no longer keep up with your medical bills, you are not alone.

Most individuals who file for bankruptcy because of medical expenses are employed.

Studies have shown that the great majority of individuals who declare bankruptcy are well-educated and gainfully employed. However, bankruptcy attorneys warn that most American middle-class families are one major medical crisis away from financial catastrophe. Most people simply cannot withstand the financial strain of high medical bills when added to existing expenses such as home mortgage, car loans, and utilities.

Most individuals who file for bankruptcy because of medical expenses have health insurance.

Given the high percentage of employed individuals who file for bankruptcy, it stands to reason that most also have health insurance. Statistics prove this claim. However, this country suffers from a great divide in terms of what most current health insurance policies will cover in cases of significant or long-term medical treatment. Many families are pulled under the financial burden of co-payments, deductibles, and medical services that are not provided for by their insurance company. As a result, they are forced to file for bankruptcy.

Most individuals who file for bankruptcy because of medical expenses have tried to pay their bills on their own.

Though a large number of people declare bankruptcy because of high medical bills, many endeavor to stave off this decision by trying to pay for their costs on their own. Before resorting to bankruptcy, the average American family will incur more than $17,000 in medical bills, which they unsuccessfully attempt to resolve before recognizing that a bankruptcy lawyer may be their best option for not only their physical health, but also their financial well-being.