If medical debt has accumulated to the point where you can no longer afford to keep up with your monthly payments, you are not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that 20% of Americans who are of working age and who have medical insurance still have trouble paying their medical bills.
What can that mean for you? It can not just put a damper on your lifestyle by eliminating funds for vacations and entertainment. For many, it can mean not having the funds to pay rent or mortgages and keep the lights on if they keep up with the payments on these health care bills.
One might think that only the uninsured face such struggles, but 44% of those with medical insurance struggle to pay their share of their medical bills. This is comparable to the 45% of the uninsured whose bills adversely impact lives. Higher deductibles are one factor in out of control medical debt.
Where do debtors get money for these medical bills?
When their paychecks can’t cover the health care costs that they’ve incurred, 31% of Americans with insurance borrow from their retirement funds, children’s college accounts and other accounts that hold long-term savings. Another 17% take out other loans to cover their bills. Some of those loans can have ridiculously high annual percentage rates (APR) — 300% is not unusual for debtors with low credit scores.
Many in this predicament (28%) admit they skip follow-up appointments, don’t get necessary medical tests or just don’t seek treatment at all for their conditions.
What those in this situation should realize
Help is out there for those struggling with medical debt. Filing for personal bankruptcy is one way to wipe out those debts that you’re no longer able to afford. A Monmouth County bankruptcy law attorney can advise you how to proceed.