One of the most frustrating elements of extensive medical treatment is prescription drugs. Medications certainly help us get over or cope with whatever malady or medical condition from which we are suffering, but they can also be wildly expensive. And when you consider that some of these prescriptions aren't merely a one-bottle prescription, but instead a part of a prolonged treatment that may take months or even years, then it's easy to see how the medical bills can soar.
Prescription drugs can cost hundreds of dollars per bottle in out-of-pocket costs for the patient, and that can easily leads to medical expenses that reach into the thousands of dollars over the course of a year. People on fixed incomes -- or even reduced incomes, if their medical condition prohibits them from working -- can struggle to keep up with these astronomical medication bills.
As we talked about recently, medical debt can have a detrimental effect on your credit score -- even more so than other forms of debt. Whether that's fair or not is up for debate, but the real issue here is that many people fall into medical debt and then struggle to pay off that debt. Instead, they fall into a debt cycle, relying on credit cards and other lines of credit to help them.
Sometimes bankruptcy is the best way for an individual to get out from underneath their medical debt. It is a tough decision to make and it isn't right for everyone, but a personal bankruptcy filing really can be a saving grace for many people.
Source: CNBC, "Medication costs fuel painful medical debt, bankruptcies," Dan Mangan, May 28, 2014