Being diagnosed with cancer, in and of itself, can be absolutely devastating. But what about the realization that you might spend the rest of your life in debt or need to file for bankruptcy because of the cost of treatment? It is difficult to fathom the mental and emotional impact of such news, yet this scenario is thought to be the reality of approximately one-third of all cancer survivors. Are you at risk? Information from a recent study may help you decide.
Factors Behind the Cancer and Debt Relationship
Healthcare costs have risen sharply over the last several decades, but cancer care costs have increased exponentially—two to three times faster than any other type of healthcare expense, in fact. Now, a patient can expect to spend anywhere between $10,000 to $60,000 per month for one cancer therapy agent, and most cancer patients need more than just one. So, for one year of treatment, patients could be facing costs in the neighborhood of $250,000 just to get started.
Health insurance coverage has also changed dramatically for many people in recent years. Most plans today have high co-pays and high deductibles, and they are also considered factors in the rising number of patients filing for bankruptcy, as is the lack of adequate work-leave programs. Those who have low incomes prior to diagnosis or are younger at the time of diagnosis are also considered especially at risk for debt or bankruptcy during or after treatment.
Protecting Yourself from Bankruptcy after a Cancer Diagnosis
Once you receive a diagnosis for cancer, you lose a great deal of control over the direction of your life. There are, however, some things you may be able to do to protect yourself from needing to file for bankruptcy in the months and years after treatment. For example, there are resources that help connect survivors with medical financial assistance programs. There are also some creative solutions that may be able to help pay down your debt and avoid the effects that bankruptcy can have on your credit. If, however, bankruptcy is the best option for you, it is critical that you find an attorney who is invested in supporting and guiding you through the process with as little stress as possible.
Contact a Hudson Valley Bankruptcy Lawyer
The Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. recognize there are many reasons and different factors behind your debt and financial issues, and we strive to understand them so that we can help you find the most beneficial solution for your situation. Because we offer more than just bankruptcy services, you do not have to wait until things become dire to contact us for help. Take control of your debt. Contact our skilled and experienced Rockland County debt management attorney to schedule your free initial consultation. Call us today at 845-358-7100.