Personal bankruptcy rates have been especially high for elderly individuals in recent years. This is partly because the baby boomer generation is getting older, and that means that a larger segment of the U.S. population is over 65, so naturally more older people will be filing for bankruptcy. It’s also for another important reason: The rising cost of health care.
Not only is health care more expensive than ever in the United States, but it’s more expensive for elderly individuals. Health insurance premiums go up the older one gets, and many retirees are forced to make due with more expensive premiums, co-pays and deductibles. As a result, nonwage-earning seniors are left to scrape the bottom of their piggy banks more stringently to set aside enough money to cover their overall living costs, leading to a higher likelihood of falling into debt.
Add a serious health emergency into this equation and many seniors face the decision to go into debt to get the health care they need to be healthy, or face worsening health situations that could be exponentially more costly or deadly later down the road. When faced with a question like this, the answer is simple. Most people will readily choose going into debt rather than suffering from poor health.
Fortunately, health care debt is usually erasable in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy if an indebted senior citizen can qualify for it. If you are suffering from an out-of-control debt situation, you may want to look into the various debt resolution options available, as well as whether you may be able to qualify for personal bankruptcy proceedings.