Medical expenses are still the number one reason many households in New Jersey are forced into overwhelming debt. The hope of some that the Affordable Care Act would curb the rise of the cost of healthcare has been discouraged by glitches on the health care exchange site and low enrollment figures. In fact, by Dec. 28 just over 105,000 New Jersey residents had enrolled through the exchange site, despite predictions that least 900,000 are eligible.

A lack of medical insurance is one reason that many residents of the Garden State end up facing devastating medical bills. Of course, even those who are insured have no guarantee that they will avoid crushing medical debt. Many people, for example, have insurance plans with high deductibles and out-of-pocket limits. This could mean that a sudden medical event could lead to unaffordable medical bills. Certain injuries and illnesses can cause bills to pile up even for families with more insurance coverage.  

It is important for New Jersey residents to understand the potential risks and benefits associated with new health care regulations and how differences in the various plans may affect their households. In some cases, however, no amount of planning can prevent people from facing the financial troubles that result from an unexpected health problem.

When New Jersey residents do find themselves struggling to pay their medical bills, or facing other types of insurmountable debt, it may be wise to consider Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows many consumers to put a stop to creditor harassment and discharge debts. This is not the best debt relief solution in all cases, and it is important to seek legal guidance about the options.

Source: Asbury Park Press, “NJ Obamacare enrollments jump, but many still haven’t bought insurance” Michael L. Diamond, Jan. 14, 2014