This month, HealthCentral writers are doing posts about the cost of illness and staying healthy. Earlier this year, I did a consumer proposal to deal with my debt, so the natural topic for me was medical bankruptcy and its alternatives:
"Six months ago, I faced reality: my debt had become unmanageable.
Having a chronic illness and disability is expensive – some of my meds
are covered, but some aren’t and don't get me started on how expensive
it is to repair a power wheelchair. After years of juggling my finances,
all the balls were crashing to the floor. Paying bills made me queasy, I
was paying one credit card with another and running out of money in the
middle of the month, which meant using credit to buy food. There was
nothing for it. I made the call to a credit counselor to explore my
There is a lot of judgment about declaring bankruptcy, both from
yourself and others. It feels shameful, as if you failed in the basic
task of being an adult. As if you're irresponsible and a spendthrift and
a leech upon society. That’s the myth. The facts are startling and
sobering and very much not about being irresponsible. Over 60 percent of
bankruptcies in the US are medical. That is, they are filed by people
who have lost income due to illness or mortgage their home to pay
medical bills. Medical bankruptcy has nothing to do with not managing
your money, it is caused by an external force out of your control. You
have to ask yourself this question: is it logical to feel shame about
something which is not your fault?"
You can read the rest of the post here.