Arizona residents may be surprised to discover that credit card debt is not the number one reason people file for bankruptcy. A recent study done by NerdWallet Health analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control, the federal court system and the U.S. Census. The group discovered that medical debt now outpaces credit card debt as the reason people file for bankruptcy.

In addition to causing many people to file for bankruptcy, medical debt also has the effect of causing some people to avoid taking needed medications to keep health care costs down. This can make someone’s financial situation even worse because failing to take prescribed drugs can lead to the need to visit the emergency room. Medical debt may also contribute to credit card debt since many people who can’t pay for these expenses out of pocket will charge the costs to a credit card. The issue of medical debt is not limited to people who file for bankruptcy. Around 56 million adults between the ages of 19 and 64 struggle to keep up with payments related to medical expenses.

Even those who have health insurance are not protected from the cost of medical care, especially for families and individuals whose insurance plans have high deductibles. According to NerdWallet Health, 10 million Americans with insurance struggle to keep up with the cost of medical expenses.

People who have enormous amounts of medical debt may have problems making ends meet and keeping up on medical bill payments. This is especially true since medical debt can add up quickly and unexpectedly. Bankruptcy may be able to help individuals get a fresh financial start. A Phoenix bankruptcy lawyer could explain what is involved in the bankruptcy process.