Americans continue to feel the weight of rising healthcare costs. The cost of obtaining healthcare is especially high for residents of Wisconsin. The cost of healthcare in the state is the second highest in the nation behind Alaska. The cost of 235 common medical services in Wisconsin was 81 percent higher than the national average.

Unfortunately, it is only going to get worse. The PwC’s Health Research Institute predicts that the cost of medical care will continue to rise at a rate of 6.5% in 2017. Employers are transferring these costs to employees. According to Kaiser Health, premium costs rose 3.4% between 2015 and 2016. What does this mean for American families?

Are you struggling with medical debt? You are not alone.

For many, rising medical costs have left them with crushing medical debt. Last year, the Kaiser Family Foundation/New York Times published results of a survey on medical debt that found revealed that one in five working people in the United States were struggling to pay their medical bills.

People struggled regardless of whether they were insured or uninsured. Of that insured group, those with high deductible plans were more likely to struggle than those with low deductible plans.

While most medical providers are often willing to work with individuals to set up a payment plan, for some individuals that may not be enough. What should you do?

Options for people struggling with medical debt

When finances are tight, people often dig into their nest egg, cashing in retirement or other financial reserves to cover costs, but that is often a mistake that they end up paying for in the long term when they need money as they are older.

Individuals struggling with medical debt in Wisconsin should consider talking with a bankruptcy attorney about their options. There are special rules for individuals pursuing bankruptcy whose debt is primarily composed of medical debt. An attorney will also be able to discuss possible bankruptcy alternatives with you.