Medical debt can negatively affect both your financial stability and your health

There are some common-sense correlations between medical debt and bankruptcy. However, did you know that medical indebtedness can also lead to poorer health?

Medical bills can often set off a chain reaction that can compound your problems.

4 possible negative impacts to unpaid medical debt

The Sycamore Institute conducted a research project on how medical debt affects people’s health. The findings were placed into four categories: Social and economic, physical environment, unhealthy behavior and ongoing access to clinical care. Let’s take a closer look at what the study teaches us about the problems associated with medical debt:

  • Social and economic effects: Having unpaid and unpayable medical bills can negatively impact credit scores and the ability to pay other types of bills.  Some turn to high-interest loans which only exacerbate the situation and often leads to being sued for nonpayment.
  • Problems with the physical environment: People who are in debt have their housing options limited. Lower-income housing options often have less access to parks, green areas, recreational opportunities, better schools, etc. The decrease in quality of life often leads to poorer health.
  • Unhealthy behavior on the part of the patient: Stress, depression and anxiety over unpaid medical bills can lead some people to use illicit drugs, alcohol, smoking and unhealthy nutrition. These can be coping mechanisms or attempts to find some measure of relief.
  • Clinical care: When someone has outstanding medical bills, they often find themselves with less access to medical care. This domino effect can leave a debtor with declining health and even fewer options.

These are not the only impacts that medical debt can have, but they are something to consider if you’re investigating bankruptcy as an option. Filing for bankruptcy can help you reverse the downward spiral you may be in due to your health. It can be helpful to have an advocate that is experienced in Texas bankruptcy laws by your side. Be encouraged, hard times don’t last forever.