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Expected Doctor Shortage Adds to Consumer Concerns

Posted on August 1st, 2014

People in need of medical care in Arizona and other states might have difficulty finding a doctor in the future. Reports point to a 90,000 shortage in the number of doctors needed in the U.S. by 2020. For people now struggling with overwhelming medical debt, worries about a future shortage of doctors is just another crisis for them to endure.

 

Complicating the issue of a projected shortage of doctors is a report showing that medical students are deeper in debt than ever before. The percent of medical school students graduating with student loan debt higher than $150,000 has been increasing for the last several years.

 

As the country tries to figure out a way to avoid a shortage of doctors, some consumers with unexpected medical conditions end up with unmanageable debt. Medical debt attributed to therapy, operations and doctors can quickly add up and create financial challenges. Add to the list of medical debt the high cost of hospitalization, and the hospital bills that might not be paid by private health insurance can leave a person in need of debt relief.

 

Chapter 7 bankruptcy offers debt elimination to a consumer, but someone with assets might not be eligible to take advantage of this opportunity. A consumer considering filing for bankruptcy must meet eligibility guidelines. Other options, such as Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a better choice for a person who is not eligible for Chapter 7.

 

A Chapter 13 filing does not require the liquidation of a consumer’s nonexempt assets as does a Chapter 7. A consumer should become familiar with the types of bankruptcies and the features associated with each type before making a decision to file. A bankruptcy attorney might help to educate the consumer about the benefits and drawbacks of Chapter 13 and Chapter 7.

 

Source: HealthCare Finance News, “Debt for medical students continues to rise,” Madelyn Kearns.

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