Health care has been a focus of the political world for decades. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, many were hopeful that more Americans would be able to obtain the medical care they needed at a fair price. Sadly, though, a recently released study conducted by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project found that two-thirds of bankruptcy filings were spurred by unaffordable medical expenses and lost income caused by a medical condition. This number is in-line with bankruptcy statistics that pre-date the Affordable Care Act.

The tragic reality is that many Americans are facing financial devastation at the hands of medical bills. The study found that approximately 530,000 Americans are finding their financial resources completely depleted due to medical expenses. While many Americans have health insurance through their employer, many of these plans are riddled with loopholes and exceptions that leave individuals under-insured. In short, most of us are one serious medical condition away from financial ruin.

Unfortunately, as politicians try to figure out a way to ensure that Americans can afford the health care they need, millions are finding themselves in a position where they have to choose between paying a medical bill or putting food on the table. This is unacceptable, as is the overwhelming stress that can accompany these situations. This is why those overcome with medical debt should carefully consider their debt relief options, which may include Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If successfully sought, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate debt. This often requires liquidation of a significant portion of an individual’s assets, but it can provide a fresh financial start to those who have been unsuccessfully trying to dig themselves out of a hole for a long time. The process of successfully seeking bankruptcy isn’t easy, though, and seemingly small errors may lead to a denied petition. This is why those who are facing uncertain financial certainty brought about by medical debt should consider discussing the matter with a legal professional.