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Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help with financial toxicity

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering event that can impact the rest of a person's life. The long-term effects of surviving cancer -- including the emotional toll of facing such a devastating disease -- can be difficult. However, one of the biggest hurdles facing young cancer survivors in Florida is something called financial toxicity, and it could be pushing some people toward Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Financial toxicity refers to the financial burden created by medical bills and debt repayments. While this can impact virtually anybody dealing with medical bills, the effect is particularly profound in cancer survivors who have private insurance. Among these individuals, those with plans that have high deductibles and do not offer health savings accounts fare the worst.

Trouble paying medical bills -- referred to as a material problem -- is only one area covered by financial toxicity. Psychological problems also tend to manifest in such situations, with patients frequently stressed and worrying about how they will manage to pay back what they owe. Behavioral issues are also common and can involve patients deliberately delaying needed medical care because of the costs.

Cancer survivors in general reported higher levels of financial toxicity across all age groups and domains when compared with patients who do not have a history of cancer. This type of situation can be both financially and emotionally overwhelming for Florida cancer survivors who might begin to feel as if they only lived to end up struggling with their bills. Although each person's situation is unique, it may be worthwhile for these individuals to consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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Paul Urich
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