Those who think they have COVID-19 can get tested without any costs. The test itself is free. Of course, that depends on whether or not they can get a test at all, as the United States was largely unprepared for the pandemic and has far too few tests.

In any case, there has been some confusion over exactly what is free. The treatment for the virus, in those who do have it, is not free by any means. It can still bring on high medical bills. Only that initial test comes with no cost.

Since medical bills are one of the leading reasons for bankruptcy in America, it stands to reason that COVID-19 could absolutely increase the number of bankruptcy filings in the coming year. In some cases, even those who test negative have reported owing $3,000. Those who need extensive treatment that uses ventilators and long hospital stays could owe more than they could ever pay off.

There’s another side to the issue, as well, which is that many people are out of work. If businesses just stay closed for a few weeks, they may get back into the swing of things with little issue. It’s impossible to know how long this will last, though. If it goes on for months, people who work at those businesses and depend on their paychecks could find themselves going bankrupt even if they never get sick at all.

This is a unique time for the country. It comes with many challenges. If you do need to file for bankruptcy, be sure you know what steps to take.