FlyBe Just Declared Bankruptcy. Who Else is Under Threat By COVID-19?
The impacts of the novel COVID-19 are spreading far beyond just personal health, damaging finances both individual and corporate. British airline FlyBe just declared bankruptcy after a few months of struggling, pushed over the edge by a shrinking travel market. And they aren’t the only ones feeling the squeeze.
While travel companies, including airlines and cruise ships, are edging towards an unsustainable level of losses, individual sufferers are feeling the same impacts right here in America. One man in Florida was faced with a bill of over $3,000 for testing and treatment. Despite lawmakers working to make testing and treatment affordable by making testing kits free for healthcare providers from the CDC, prices on consumers get unsustainable fast.
COVID-19 and Personal Bankruptcy
It’s no secret that medical bills are one of the largest causes of personal bankruptcy in America, with 66.5% of filings including medical bills as a cause. Even basic medical procedures can become overpriced for people without insurance, and people with insurance often find themselves with huge bills and out of pocket expenses for necessary treatments.
Now there’s a virus that presents symptoms similar to the common cold, but with deadly consequences. For individuals who can’t take time off work for a quarantine or afford the potential $1,200 total uninsured costs, a test feels like a serious personal risk. Many don’t even want to go into a doctors office out of fear of contracting the virus from a fellow patient.
But let’s say you need to go to the doctor. You’ve been exhibiting all the symptoms (dry cough, fever) and are worried about getting your coworkers or surrounding people sick, but you don’t have insurance. What happens then?
Bankruptcy from Medical Bills
If you can’t afford the treatment you’ve been getting, you may need to file for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy is available for individuals and companies who are unable to repay their debts. The bankruptcy process varies depending on what type of bankruptcy you are filing for, but it also requires a court filing fee. It is a well-worn process for Americans with medical debt, and we are likely to see an increase in filings over the course of the coming few months.
COVID-19’s Affect on the Economy
The full effects of COVID-19 on the American and global economies won’t become apparent for years to come but we can make a few predictions. As we’ve already seen, the travel and shipping industries are getting hit hard. As people are forced to step back from the workforce due to quarantine requirements, employers will begin to feel the strain. International and domestic travel for employees and board members in numerous corporations has been tightly restricted. All this and an unsurety about future instability are leading to massive drops in the DOW. To say that a few economists are bracing for a recession would be an understatement. As more and more parties file for bankruptcy, we’ll see the fuller effects of the situation.
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