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Americans are drowning in medical debt

A recent New York Times article illustrates how Americans are struggling with medical debt. In fact, more than 1,200 readers of the publication wrote in to say to answer a question posed by the newspaper about how medical bills had changed their lives.

According to the survey, the people suffering the most with medical debt are those who do not have health insurance. However, approximately 20 percent who have health insurance are also getting hit by it and having a hard time paying their health care bills.

One 60-year-old reader said that her husband is suffering from lymph node cancer, and she chose her employment four years ago simply because of the health insurance benefits it provided. In spite of their high incomes, the woman and her husband have racked up $5,000 of credit card debt related to medical bills and they have had to make some big financial cutbacks because of it.

Approximately 2 percent of the respondents to the survey said that they had filed for bankruptcy as a result of their medical bill problems last year. Sixteen percent of the respondents said that they had filed for bankruptcy in the past. Other readers said that they were in very dire financial circumstances because of bad health and associated medical debts.

Even worse, a lot of the respondents said that they were avoiding medical care because they simply could not afford it. The survey indicated that those with bill problems have double or triple the likelihood of skipping visits to the doctor and/or filling their prescriptions.

Medical debt problems are plaguing our entire nation. If you or your loved on are struggling to pay bills because of medical debts in Ohio, a bankruptcy attorney can help you decide whether or not bankruptcy or other debt resolution strategies are right for you.

Source: New York Times, "'I Am Drowning.' The Voices of People With Medical Debt.," Margot Sanger-Katz, Jan. 11, 2016

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