Many people assume that having health insurance will save them from medical debt. Despite the fact that more people have health insurance than ever before, many are still struggling to pay for health care. As many as one in five Americans with health insurance reported having problems in the past year, according to a Kaiser Family/New York Times survey. Over half of those without health insurance reported that they had difficulties paying their medical bills. Recently, medical debt has been reported as the number one reason debt collection agencies contact individuals.
A study by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 59 percent of people who reported being contacted by a collection agency said it was for unpaid medical services. Second to medical debt was unpaid telecommunication bills (37 percent) and third was utility debt (28 percent). Unlike other types of debt, medical expenses debt is prevalent across a range of income levels, credit scores, and ages. Many insured individuals who have reported problems paying their medical bills attribute their health care debt to unexpected medical claim denials and receiving care from medical providers the insurance companies would not cover, according to Kaiser Family/New York Times.
According to a poll conducted by National Public Radio (NPR) in 2015, as many as 26 percents of the participants reported that health care expenses took a serious toll on their family’s financial situation. Not only can medical debt have financial repercussions, but they may also prevent individuals from obtaining the care they need. More than 60 percent of the Kaiser Family/New York Times survey participants reported concerns about their ability to pay for health care services if they were to become injured or fall ill. More than a quarter of the participants reported that they had not taken a medical test, missed a follow-up appointment, or did not seek medical treatment for a health condition in the last year because of insecurities regarding the cost of health care. NPR reported that not only do people refrain from obtaining the medical services they need for fear of health care debt they may incur, but also fear that a medical bill in the collection may substantially reduce their consumer credit score.
Unexpected medical bills and chronic illnesses can easily put good people in bad financial situations. Individuals facing the burden of medical debt may feel overwhelmed and may face difficulties trying to find the debt relief option that is in the best interest of them and their loved ones. The Law Office of Robert Jacovetti, PC is experienced in consumer protection matters, including resolving medical debt. Our medical debt relief lawyers will work with clients to assess their medical debt situations and advise them on the best path to financial stability. To schedule a free 15-minute telephone consultation or office visit, contact our New York medical debt relief law office at Sub:Phone} or fill out our contact form.